Lake of the Ozarks leaders react to possible casino plans

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. (KY3) - Lake of the Ozarks leaders say they learned about the news of the proposed casino Friday just before a news release.

The Osage Nation of Oklahoma announced plans to build a new casino.

“This is about the biggest leap that they have taken,” said Mike Leara, Chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission. “We know from the past there was Indian interest in Missouri, but there are a lot of hurdles that are in front of them before something like that would happen.’

This would be Missouri’s first tribal casino.

“There are no tribal territories in the state of Missouri, and tribal casinos in other states are on tribal territory. So they generally work with those gaming commissions or gaming boards, whatever that state has, and it’s monitored or taxes are paid or what the arrangements are usually in conjunction with a gaming regulatory body of some sort,” said Leara.

The tribe says they plan to buy land in Miller County and build the casino there. There is no timeline on when the casino will be built.

In an email to KY3 after the story aired, Osage Nation spokesperson Rich Chrismer said, “Support for this project has been overwhelmingly positive from local and state officials, tourism leaders, and economic development officials who view this initiative as a tremendous opportunity for the Lake region. We value transparency, which is one of the reasons we were in contact with local officials before the announcement and will continue working with stakeholders throughout this process.”

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