Missouri’s Last Riverboat Casino Prepares For Move To Dry Land

Written By J.R. Duren on November 23, 2022
Century Casino Caruthersville moves to land

Caruthersville, Missouri, is a small town prepping for a big upgrade. Next month, Century Casino will break ground on its Caruthersville, Missouri casino.

The project will move the property’s gaming floor from a riverboat into a pavilion and add a hotel. The expansion will be a big boost for the town, the mayor told local media.

“We depend heavily on the casino, and we’re thankful we have such a good team to work with,” Mayor Sue Grantham said.

The casino is planning for a groundbreaking ceremony on the morning of Dec. 2. The Caruthersville location is one of two casinos that Century operates in Missouri. The other property is located in Cape Girardeau.

Expansion project gives Missouri casino a needed update

Century Casino’s Caruthersville property is the last remaining riverboat casino in the state. It’s a throwback to an era when Missouri casinos were only allowed on the water.

However, relatively recent legislation allowed casino operators to move their casinos from water to land. Century Casino is taking advantage of that law change.

During the expansion, it will move its floating casino to a pavilion. The new casino will include:

  • 650 slot machines, with plans to expand to nearly 700 slots
  • Table games

A pavilion area next to the casino will include a restaurant, bar, a hotel lobby, and meeting rooms and offices.

Additionally, Century will build a 38-room hotel next to the casino. It will be the second room on the casino property. Century acquired and renovated The Farmstead, a 36-room hotel that’s located next to the site of the new hotel.

The hotel is available for reservations starting Dec. 12. In all, the expansion project will produce a casino, pavilion, and two hotels with a combined 74 rooms.

Caruthersville library direct Teresa Tidwell told local media that the casino has been “wonderful” to the community. Tidwell said:

“We rely on the casino a lot, they’ve been wonderful to this community, so I think by the announcement that they’ve made about the expansion, it can only help our city and bring more tourists because they’re going to invest a sizeable amount”.

Low water levels forced casino closure earlier this year

The move from river to land couldn’t come sooner for Century.

In Century Casinos’ Q3 earnings call, the company mentioned that it had to close the riverboat gaming floor because of low water levels on the Mississippi River. As a temporary solution, it moved some of its slots and table games to an adjacent barge.

Moving their operations indoors eliminates the low-water issue. Additionally, the property is located behind the Caruthersville flood wall, so it’s protected, in theory, from high-water dangers, too.

Photo by PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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