Missouri: Osage tribe keeps pushing for Lake of the Ozarks casino; expects ballot vote in 2024

Missouri gaming advocates are debating on the decision to allow a casino to be built in the area of Lake of the Ozarks. However, they will are set to face opposition from some Camden County residents who say a casino is “a risky bet.”

Timothy Hand, speaking on behalf of Osage River Gaming, explained that there are 13 state-regulated casinos in the state of Missouri, which “generate more tax revenue for the state than the other 160,000 businesses combined with the state of Missouri’s largest revenue source.”

As the debate continues, many residents gathered at the Community Christian Church in Camdenton to hear both sides of groups discussing a potential casino in the future, for which the first step would be a revision to the Missouri Constitution, reports Ozarks First.

Casino rendering.

We are trying to change the Constitution to also allow gaming on the Osage right from Bagnell Dam to where it meets the Missouri River in Jefferson City,” confirmed Hand to the cited news source.

The Camden County Republican Club hosted the discussion saying the number of people moving to the area has increased in recent years. “The area is growing economically,” CCRC President Les Larson said. “There’s a lot of things that are affecting it in a real positive way.”

Hand insisted that more people would benefit from a casino. To him, a state-regulated casino “scaled to the size that we believe fits this demographic market” will be about a $200 million construction project. He projected it would generate about 700 jobs – 75% that will be year-round – and 350,000 indirect jobs.

Osage River Gaming expects the constitutional amendment to be on a ballot for voters in 2024. The Osage Nation first unveiled plans for a Lake of the Ozarks casino in 2021, at the time with a $60 million price tag attached.