Casino to give presentation to gaming commission for license

Monday, October 22, 2012

As Isle of Capri puts the finishing touches on its new Cape Girardeau casino set to open Oct. 30, the company must first make a final presentation to the Missouri Gaming Commission before its license will be granted.

The Missouri Gaming Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Cape Girardeau City Hall, after a closed session tour of the casino property earlier that morning.

Isle officials will make a presentation to the commission, followed by a presentation by Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger. Then there will be an opportunity for the regulators to hear public comments.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Gaming Division will give an investigative summary concerning the Isle Cape Girardeau project. This will include, but is not limited to criminal, financial and general inquiries of key casino personnel, said LeAnn McCarthy, spokeswoman for the gaming commission.

The commission's executive director, Roger Stottlemyre, will then make a staff recommendation concerning the Isle project before commission members consider a resolution that will spell out Isle's suitability for licensure, McCarthy said.

"It is important to remember the actual license is not given until the day the doors open to the public," she said.

The $135 million Isle Casino Cape Girardeau is scheduled to open at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30, pending regulatory approval.

A spokeswoman for the casino company declined to comment on the commission meeting or the presentation the company will be making.

Rediger, who has been working with Isle and the gaming commission since the summer of 2010 said this is the last vetting of the project before licensure.

"I think they are looking for our confidence in them as a community member, the support the community has shown for them, what our plans are for the future of this new industry," Rediger said.

Rediger will also present to the commission the city's outline for how it intends to spend additional revenue the casino brings.

An estimated $3 to $4 million in income will come to the city annually from the $2 per-person admission fee the casino must pay under state law. This admission fee is split with $1 going to the state and $1 going to the city where the casino is located.

In addition to admissions revenue, Isle will also pay monthly three-tenths of 1 percent of its gross gaming revenue to the city to be put in a Riverfront Region Economic Development Fund, according to the project's development agreement. This fund is specifically to finance improvements that will benefit the downtown commercial and riverfront areas of the city. Seventy percent of these funds must go to capital improvements, the agreement states.

The Isle Casino Cape Girardeau will feature 1,000 slot machines, 28 table games, five restaurants serving a variety of cuisine and a 750-seat multipurpose events room. It is the 16th casino owned and operated by Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. across the United States. More than 450 jobs were created at the casino, which has been under construction since April 2011. It will be Missouri's 13th casino, which is the maximum number allowed by state statute. In January 2010, an aging St. Louis riverboat casino closed, clearing the way for Cape Girardeau to grab Missouri's 13th and final casino license. In November 2010, Cape Girardeau voters overwhelmingly cast ballots in favor a casino development, with 7,635 yes votes to 4,850 no votes.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

777 N. Main Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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