Casino Watch Focus reported that the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) will only consider three proposals for Missouri’s final casino license – one in Kansas City, one in St Louis, and one in Cape Girardeau should the vote to allow the casino pass. It was also explained that the MGC favors the Cape location and they were positioning themselves to not give out the final license allowed by Missouri law should the vote in Cape not pass. It’s clear that the battle for gambling expansion comes down to the this vote and its fair to say that the Isle of Capri casino agrees. The South East Missourian reported they gave a sizable campaign contribution to the Yes for Gaming group in Cape:
Isle of Capri is gambling with house money, pouring $50,000 into the campaign coffers of the committee trying to convince Cape Girardeau voters to approve a $120 million casino in the Nov. 2 election.
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. donated $50,000 to the campaign committee Yes for Gaming, according to a quarterly campaign report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. The only other donation to the committee was $4,000 from Jim Riley and David Knight’s Dream Big LLC. Riley and Knight are the Cape Girardeau businessmen who own property where the casino is proposed for North Main Street.
The Quality of Life group, which opposes the casino, has only received $5,000 in donations. The SE Missouri explains that the group is not surprised by the amount given by Isle of Capri, but hopes their grass roots movement will be effected against this clear attempt at buying the election:
Doug Austin, who heads the opposition group, said he was not shocked about the amount that Isle of Capri donated. But he said it looks as if the company is trying to buy the election.
“It reeks to the high heavens,” Austin said. “Our money is coming from the citizens of Cape Girardeau, not the gambling industry. Fifty thousand dollars boggles my mind. It shows what kind of money they have available with money that they got from people losing in their casinos.”
Melvin Gateley, the treasurer for Quality of Life, said his organization is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to buying advertising, yard signs and fliers.
“I’m sorry to see it, but I knew it was coming,” Gateley said. “But we’re just going to be ourselves and keep doing our grassroots work and let people know what we think a casino would do to this community.”
Those in the community continue to speak out against the casino. The newspaper is one of those grassroots means that the opposition has used to send its message. In an editorial titled “Casino vote will have severe implications” published by the SE Missourian, Mark Anderson outlines many key issues ranging from family issues to business issues. Please take some time to read the entire article here and if you are in the Cape Girardeau community, please seek out the Quality for Life group to help the grass roots movement and take a stand against yet another casino looking to buy an election.