A Missouri Gaming Commission vote yesterday seems to make it much more difficult - though not impossible - for the owners of President Casino (who also operate the fabulous Lumiere) to keep a second casino in the City.
It is unlikely that the SS Admiral, the location of President Casino, will be deemed “seaworthy” much longer. Its owners have proposed replacing it with another riverboat, either on the same site or somewhere else along the City’s riverfront.
The Gaming Commission staff, led by former St. Louis County executive Gene McNary, opposes that plan - and argues that the President Casino’s license will be forfeited if its owners try to replace the President with a new, safe facility.
The owners of the President invested tens of millions of dollars under the reasonable assumption that they would be allowed to operate as long as they followed the law, and ran an honest, safe operation. The City of St. Louis made decisions based on the same assumption. Now, we are being told that this may not be the case.
So, the matter seems headed to court. Can the Gaming Commission use its regulatory powers to take a license away from a legitimate operator in the City and give it to another operator in, say, Spanish Lake?