Casino Watch Focus has been reporting on the new license situation and recently reported that as many as 15 different groups expressed interest in submitting proposals to the Missouri Gaming Commission for consideration. Now the South Eastern Missourian is reporting more details of the process, including a goal of September to determine the new license holder:
Awarding the only available Missouri casino license will likely be a quick process that is over by Sept. 1, Missouri Gaming Commission executive director Gene McNary said Tuesday to a room full of companies and communities interested in the license.
In a meeting that lasted a little more than 50 minutes, McNary explained the process the commission will follow and said the first deadline will be for an economic analysis each prospective applicant must submit detailing what a casino would do for the community in any particular location. That economic analysis will be due July 15.
McNary then asked each prospective casino developer how long it would take to develop a full application. When Joe Arum of St. Louis Capital Partners LLC said it would take 90 to 120 days beyond the July 15 date, McNary said that was too much time.
Asked how long the commission would spend considering the applications once they’re received, McNary said he expects the license to be awarded by Sept. 1.
The Gaming Commission indicated that once local economic reports had been filed, they would be reviewed by the state. The South Eastern Missourian continued:
The economic analysis questionnaire that each prospective casino developer must fill out will include information ranging from the expected investment in land and construction to the number of slot machines and gaming tables to the number of people who will be employed.
That information, McNary said, will be combined with economic analyses provided by existing casinos. It will then be turned over to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, which will analyze the reports and develop models for the effect on communities, employment and state revenue.
The considerations will include whether the casino will add to state revenue or steal customers from existing casinos. The economic analysis done by the Department of Economic Development will be a key factor in deciding that.
“We want to know what proposal would be in the best interest of Missouri, and that is the bottom line,” McNary said.