"Casino Queen/my lord you're mean/I've been gambling like a fiend/on your tables so green."
So sang Jeff Tweedy on Wilco's 1995 album A.M.
Of course, back in the mid-1990s the Queen could afford to be a little ornery even seedy if she wanted to be. The East St. Louis riverboat was one of just three casinos in the region, and its proximity to downtown St. Louis and lack of loss limits (unlike Missouri, where gamblers may not lose more than $500 every two hours) made the Queen the go-to spot for serious gamers. Now, after years of losing patrons to the flashier likes of Harrah's and Ameristar, the Queen is poised to reclaim her throne. In August the casino moved into a $92 million facility featuring a 38,000-foot game floor, five restaurants and a gift shop. But what about those "loosest slots" in town? The Queen still has 'em, with Casino Player
magazine again ranking her slot machines tops in delivering the highest payback of any casino in the region.