Native Americans stake a claim for Missouri’s first land-based casino

  • Osage Nation Tribe seeking to obtain permission for the first land-based casino in neighbouring state Missouri
  • Former Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley onside

Missouri gamblers craving a casino experience have to venture offshore to do so at present but accessing roulette and blackjack tables may be about to get easier.

Steve Tilley Missouri
Steve Tilley supports land-based casino plans in Missouri

Land-based casinos are outlawed in the midwestern US state, but thanks to the provision of riverboat casinos, casino play is within easy reach of Missouri citizens. That reach could get even shorter if the Osage Nation Tribe one has its way however.

The group are seeking to obtain permission for the first land-based casino in neighbouring state Missouri and are lobbying hard to gain the necessary approval. The Native American tribe have former Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley onside and the Republican leader is now lobbying intensively in Jefferson City, the state capital of Missouri.

Historical ties could work in Osage Tribe’s favour

As evidence that the Osage tribe are firmly committed to gaining a foothold in Missouri, they contributed $52,000 towards the cost of Governor Eric Greitens’ inauguration back in January. At present, Missouri gamblers have no shortage of riverboats where they can go and play – in fact there are 13 stationary barges in total that have been licensed for use as floating casinos.

Bidding to acquire a gaming license in a neighbouring state may seem an odd move, but the Osage tribe aren’t merely acting on a whim. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act permits tribes to request newly acquired lands by the Department of the Interior be passed into trust for tribes to utilise. Provided the Osage tribe can show historical ties to the area, they’ve got a case.

The area that the Native American tribe have identified as being suitable for development lies 80 miles southwest of St Louis in a city named Cuba. The benefits of being able to operate out of a purpose-built bricks and mortar casino here are numerous.

For one thing, the space available compared to that of a barge would be considerably greater, and would facilitate more tables, slots and ultimately more revenue. For the move to be given the go ahead, class I and II gaming permission need to be authorised by federal authorities. If those hurdles can be overcome, Missouri could be on course to receive its first land-based casino and the Osage tribe could be on course to strike up a permanent present in the state neighbouring their native Oklahoma.

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