Sugar Creek casino dead?

The Missouri Gaming Commission has set a special meeting Monday to consider a “moratorium” on future casino licenses.

If approved the measure would appear to dash, at least in the short term, any hopes for a new casino in Sugar Creek that the commission has been considering for more than a year.

“There has been a change and its all going to be discussed Monday,” said commission spokeswoman LeAnn McCarthy, who declined further comment.

Sugar Creek officials and representatives of Iowa-based Wild Rose Entertainment that submitted a proposal to develop a small casino in the city could not be reached late Thursday.

State Rep. Ray Salva, who has pushed hard for the project in his district, said, “I’m appalled they would go against the legislature on this.”

Salva said bills seeking similar moratoriums on further casino expansion died in both the House and Senate this year for lack of support.

“We defeated that,” said Salva.

He said the commission now appears to be acting in haste and ahead of a decision whether a casino-industry initiative capping the number of casinos in the state will be on the fall ballot.

Gaming industry representatives, stock market analysts and other lawmakers have sharply criticized the gaming commission for its unanimous decision earlier to consider an additional casino in the Kansas City market at a time Kansas is preparing to build two state-owned gambling facilities in Wyandotte County.

Wild Rose was the sole gaming firm that filed a application for a Sugar Creek casino license.

If built as proposed at the time, the USD 135 million Wild Rose facility would be the smallest riverboat casino floor in the Kansas City market, with 1,200 slot machines.