The Missouri Gaming Commission is expected to announce Wednesday which city will be awarded the state's 13th and final casino license.
Last week, state regulators issued a report favoring Cape Girardeau
over proposals for St. Louis and Kansas City. But that report apparently did not consider two important pieces of legislation concerning smoking bans.
The first -- mentioned here earlier this month
-- is a bill that would exempt Illinois casinos from that state's blanket smoking ban on businesses and public places. The second is a local measure up for vote this April in Cape Girardeau that would ban smoking in most businesses in the southeast Missouri city -- including "gaming facilities."
Last week, smoking-ban opponent Bill Hannegan
sent a letter to Missouri gaming regulators pointing out the pending legislation and warning them that a smoke-free casino in Cape Girardeau just couldn't compete with smoking establishments in Illinois and Missouri.
This morning, the city government reporter for the Southeast Missourian echoed those similar concerns
, fretting that Cape's casino bid could go up in smoke.
Meanwhile, today St. Louis officials announced that Tropicana Entertainment
has partnered with Koman Group -- owner of the Casino Queen in East St. Louis -- to develop the $130-million Casino Celebration
in north St. Louis.