It Might Be Awhile Before That Casino Opens In Lake of the Ozarks
The Osage Nation is betting big on a Lake of the Ozarks entertainment complex, yet there's a long road ahead before the first customer plays a slot machine at the casino.
KY3 television reports that Lake of the Ozarks leaders learned of the Osage Nation's casino plans just prior to the Tribe's news release to the public. That said, the television station doesn't say which Ozark's leaders were surprised by the news. They didn't mention any names or have any quotes from surprised mayors or council members.
Certainly, it seems State Senators knew. Justin Brown of Rolla and Mike Bernskoetter of Jefferson City seemed to know. They had perfect media-savvy quotes in the Osage Nation release. As did the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau and Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association.
I'm not sure The Missouri Gaming Commission knew, but I'm not sure at this point they really needed to know. Obviously, any entity looking to build a casino probably is going to work with the Commission to create a path forward to licensure.
Mike Leara, Chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission commented to KY3 in the article that The Osage Nation has a lot of work ahead of them when it comes to opening a casino in Missouri. He told the television station many tribal casinos are on land owned by the tribe, and then the tribe works with gaming boards or commissions to make sure the casinos are monitored and taxes are paid. But at this point, the Osage Nation doesn't even have a site to build on.
KY3 says the Tribe plans to buy land in Miller County and there is no timeline for when the casino will open.
It may very well be several years before the first hand of poker is played and the first casino hotel opens in Lake of the Ozarks. But I think it's not if it will happen. It's more when and where it will happen. The Osage Nation's announcement expresses their intention. And allows them to start the process of bringing a casino to Lake of the Ozarks.
Maybe it's just me, but their plan sounds good for The Lake, the people that live and work at the Lake, and good for the gamblers of Missouri. I'd bet big that everyone gets on board and it happens.