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Osage Nation Casino Resolution Stalls in Lake of the Ozarks, Future Remains Murky - Newstbt.com

Tiffany Burroughs
Updated: 8 August 2023
2 min to read

At a meeting on June 13, the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen similarly ended in a stalemate, resulting in no action taken on the aspect of the project in question. This is the second time in recent weeks that the vote has ended in a tie.
Osage Lake Casino

This week, The Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen decided not to take action on a new casino resolution, despite the city’s support for the Osage Nation’s plans to expand upon its historic and cultural presence in the Lake of the Ozarks area. The Osage Nation plan involves constructing a casino, convention hotel, entertainment complex center and an off-site Tribal office and Heritage Center, which is estimated to cost $60 million to build. Despite their decision, the city maintains its support for the Osage Nation’s plans and is looking forward to the world-class entertainment district that will soon be developed at the Lake of the Ozarks. (Image: World Atlas)

At the May board meeting, members of the public expressed their worries about the possibility of an Osage Nation casino in the city, as Missouri has no tribal casinos. The resolution was then postponed by the board. What will happen next?

What Next

Mayor Dennis Newberry of Lake Ozark has confidently declared that the area is on track to see legalized gambling soon. After it was approved by the aldermen board, Newberry lobbied in Jefferson City for House Joint Resolution 23 and Senate Joint Resolution 14, which proposed giving Missouri voters the power to decide whether to have a state-licensed casino. However, the legislators adjourned in May without voting on the matter as it will require an amendment to the Missouri Constitution in order for the casino to be state-licensed. The state, not the local level, will ultimately decide this matter, yet the Osage Nation is working to have the United States Interior Department officially recognize their sovereignty and thus open up their own tribe-owned casino in the area. Effectively, while the Osage Nation is taking action, the state of Missouri still has yet to do anything.

Osage Nation Action, Missouri Inaction

The Osage Nation has seven casinos in its headquarters state Oklahoma, and it’s the 25th biggest tribe in the US. The Osage’s ancestral homelands extended as far as modern-day Missouri. The Nation made a multi-million dollar purchase and clearance for the Lake Ozark casino project. Under the Missouri Gambling laws, it’s permissible to set up riverboats with various card games on the Missouri River or Mississippi River, or within 1,000 feet of their banks. Furthermore, the state has an officially authorized lottery. Regrettably, Missouri state legislature put a stop to sports betting plans in the May 2023 legislative session.

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Updated: 8 August 2023
2 min to read

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