Page 56: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 1994)
on February 10, while the Isle of
Capri-Bossier City is tentatively scheduled to open on April 15.
Missouri has been the center of attention due to a legal case which challenges the legality of certain "games of chance," including slot machines, baccarat, craps and rou- lette, under the the state's constitu- tion, which expressly forbids games of chance (see related story on this page for full details).
In requesting the rejection of
Hilton Hotel Corp.'s proposed riverboat gaming location in Kansas
City, the USCG has helped bring to the forefront the question of to sail or not to sail. The USCG requested that the Army Corp of Engineers refuse the permit because the project "would create an unacceptable haz- ard to navigation." The planned site was near to a navigational channel that is already difficult to navigate, and both the USCG and local tow- boat operators objected to the project.
Without approval from the Army
Corps of Engineers, the Missouri
Gaming Commission cannot issue a gaming license. The USCG ex- pressed the same concern for all areas along the Missouri River, and has suggested that the most rapid and acceptable solution would be to require Hilton and others located on the river to be permanently moored.
In Kansas City, Hilton, Hyatt and
Boyd Group have been selected by the Kansas City Port Authority for riverboat gaming licenses. Here's the latest on other areas in the state: • North Kansas City—Promus is planning to invest $65- to $70 mil- lion on a 60,000-sq.-ft. shoreside fa- cility; • Riverside—Argosy has con- tracted with the city, and its appli- cation is being reviewed by the Mis- souri Gaming Commission; • St. Joseph—CMS International/
Grace Development of Phoenix and
Reno selected, application is being reviewed by the Missouri Gaming
Commission; • Parkville—Sahara Resort Ca- sino selected, plans one stationary boat and one family entertainment boat; • Randolph—ETT Ltd. of Las Ve- gas is negotiating with Randolph; • Sugar Creek—Griffith Gaming was selected, but problems over lo- gistics for its location are unresolved and Gamma International, a former candidate, approached the commu- nity again; • Jefferson City—Becker Gaming won in March.
Court Case Puts
Gaming On Hold In
A battle over the legality of some "games of chance" is proving to be a headache for casino riverboat owner/operators, possibly keeping their doors shut for months until a final decision is rendered.
The center of the story is the case
Troy Harris, et al. v. The Missouri
Gaming Commission, a case in which the constitutionality of the legislation approving dockside and riverboat gaming is being chal- lenged. The Missouri Supreme
Court reportedly held that the Mis- souri Constitution specifically rec- ognizes games of "skill" but not games of chance. The Court held that poker and twenty-one were games of skill, and permissible un- der the Missouri Constitution. As to the other games permitted by the
Missouri gaming legislation, includ- ing slot machines, baccarat, craps, roulette, klondike, faro and video games of chance, the Missouri Su- preme Court remanded to Circuit
Court for determination.
It is now believed that it will be necessary to seek a constitutional amendment in order to alleviate the challenge. Missouri governor
Mel Carnahan reportedly said in a prepared statement "While today's ruling by the Missouri Supreme
Court is important, I do not see this as a major setback for riverboat gaming in Missouri. The citizens of this state voted overwhelmingly in support ofriverboat gaming in 1992, and I think we have an obligation to ensure that it is implemented. It is (Continued on page 62)
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