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North County LLC to skip presentation meeting

By Marshall Griffin and Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – One of the four developers vying for Missouri's lone available casino license won't be making a pitch Wednesday as originally planned, and is threatening to drop out if the process isn't slowed down.

"The letter kind of outlines the fact that they don't feel they have enough time," said Misosuri Gaming Commission spokeswoman LeAnn McCarthy. "What their intentions are beyond this point, we don't know; what the chairman and the commissioners will do beyond this point we don't know either at this time."

North County Development LLC is the only company to meet the commission's requirements for a "full-service development property that would necessarily require a large tract of land accommodating more than simply a gaming floor," attorney Ed Griesedieck wrote in the letter. The compressed time frame has made it impossible for interested investors and gaming companies to conduct due diligence on the 370-acre, $150 million project.A couple of investors, Griesedieck said, have already passed on the project because of the "break neck speed" of the process.

North County Development LLC has proposed building a casino resort in northern St. Louis County, near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Environmental groups oppose the project, but supporters say the jobs are needed.