Casino vote

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quality of Life in Cape Girardeau, the group that led a petition drive to force a third vote on whether the city should allow a casino, successfully submitted the required signatures of city voters, and the city council is in the process of putting the issue on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

In 1993, shortly after riverboat casinos were first authorized in Missouri, Cape Girardeau had two votes on the issue. The first effort failed, and a second vote seven months later approved the ballot question: "Shall the City of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, allow the licensing of excursion gambling boats in the City?" That's the same question that will be on the November ballot, as required by state law, even though casinos are now permitted to be near the Mississippi or Missouri rivers in man-made moats.

Several casino companies are vying for the sole remaining license, and two of them think Cape Girardeau would be the best location. A study earlier this year said Cape Girardeau would be the best site.

Many voters have already made up their minds, relying on personal preferences or religious views regarding gambling. Undecided voters will need to educate themselves on what will be an important decision. Both sides will have opportunities to make their cases.

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