As Osage Nation Reveals Missouri Casino Plans, Potential Competition Surfaces

Written By Derek Helling on February 23, 2022 - Last Updated on March 7, 2022
Potential Competition Surfaces For Casino Plan In Missouri After The Reveal Of Osage Nation

As negotiations for a new compact allowing for an Osage casino in Missouri move along, that future facility might not be alone on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. A potential 14th commercial casino in the Show-Me State could call that same area home.

That’s if everything goes right for the backers of a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution. It’s unclear whether the Osage Nation will alter their plans based on this proposal in the state legislature, but it could figure in heavily as the situation unfolds.

Osage casino plans for Missouri unfurled

Recently, Osage Casinos published renderings for its planned entertainment facility on the lake. The Osage Nation says it is going to spend $60 million to develop the property that it purchased last year. The Osage Nation currently operates seven other casinos, all in Oklahoma.

The plot sits near Bagnell Dam Blvd and Osage Beach Pkwy. Currently, the tribal casino operator is just awaiting approval of a proposed gaming compact to start construction. In addition to gaming, the property will boast:

  • Event space
  • Pool and spa amenities
  • Restaurants

All commercial casinos in the state are situated on either the Mississippi or Missouri rivers, as current state law dictates for those venues. As a tribal casino, however, this facility is not bound to those restrictions.

Thus, this facility could enjoy a wide buffer zone from any competition in MO. That is if a new push to repeal those location restrictions in the state legislature doesn’t gain any more serious traction.

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The market could get crowded quickly

Earlier this month, MO Rep. Ron Hicks introduced HJR127 into the MO House. The bill would put a question before the state’s voters potentially as soon as this fall. Whether the state should allow for a commercial casino on the Lake of the Ozarks is the meat of the question.

Exactly where such a casino would possibly be located and what companies might be interested are unclear. The resolution specifies the area between Bagnell Dam and where the Osage River meets the Missouri River as the zone for the new license. That includes a stretch of about 25 miles of the river.

It also specifies that just one additional license would be available. Because the zone begins at Bagnell Dam, it’s possible that this potential new commercial casino could be quite close to the Osage Casino.

Unlike in other states, the resolution just needs a simple majority in both chambers of the MO legislature. From there, it would also only need a simple majority of the citizen vote to become official.

Regardless of proximity, the Osage Nation could lobby against enactment at either stage. Given the millions of dollars already invested in their project, that seems like a good bet. With their renderings released, their work to advance their interests on the Lake of the Ozarks might have just begun.

Photo by F11photo / Shutterstock.com
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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