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- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)49
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says cops’ good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Hopper Road to close for months during construction of Veterans Drive (04/27/16)9
A good bet
The Missouri Gaming Commission wasn't set up to run the casinos it regulates, but a special case has been made for Casino Aztar in Caruthersville, Mo., and it appears there are several winners.
Aztar Corp.'s assets, which included several casinos around the country, were sold last year for $2.75 billion. The buyer, Columbia Sussex, did not meet Missouri's licensing requirements, which meant the Caruthersville operation might have to shut down until a suitable buyer was found.
But that would have meant putting 284 employees out of work. And both the state and local economies would have been hard hit.
In an unusual arrangement, the gaming commission decided to keep the casino open and put a Missouri State Highway Patrol veteran, Clarence Greeno, in charge.
The result has been a seamless operation. The casino employees still have their jobs, with an annual payroll of $7.6 million. Caruthersville continues to take in about $1 million a year from the casino, plus sales-tax revenue collected from the 1,000 visitors a day. And the state is still getting several million dollars a year from the Aztar operation.
The commission is negotiating with several prospective owners of the casino. Under new ownership, the casino is expected to get some updating, which could draw more visitors -- and more revenue for the local and state economies.