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Slay Says County Casino Should Wait for City

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says a new casino in South St. Louis County should not be opened until a proposed casino in the city has been in business at least a year.

Slay made the request Monday at a meeting of the Missouri Gaming Commission.

The mayor also says no other casinos should open within 25 miles of the city for seven years after any city casino opens.

"We want to make sure that the new gaming facility downtown gets and opportunity to get up and running and be successful, you know, get it up and running and get it going before there are any competing interests cutting into its business," Slay said.

Slay says city and county officials and potential developer Pinnacle Entertainment have all agreed on the matter.

Isle of Capri also wants to build casinos in the city and county, and Harrah's wants to build a facility near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.

Both city and county officials say the Pinnacle plan is best, but the final decision on any casino plan is up to the Gaming Commission.

The five-member panel could make a decision in July.