The Missouri Gaming Commission unanimously gave preferred developer status to St. Louis-based Isle of Capri for its Cape Girardeau casino project. When it is built, the state’s 13th—and final—gaming license will be handed over to the company.
The $125 million casino complex in downtown Cape Girardeau will feature 1,000 slot machines, 28 table games, three restaurants, a lounge and terrace overlooking the Mississippi River and a 750-seat event center.
Isle of Capri, considered the favorite to win the license, won out over competing casino proposals in northern St. Louis and Kansas City, markets that gaming analysts said may have been saturated. Voters in Cape Girardeau, population 37,000, overwhelmingly approved the casino plans on November 2.
In making its decision, the Missouri Gaming Commission considered the support of the city and surrounding area, docking site availability, the applicant’s finances and experience, its history of regulatory compliance in Missouri and other states, economic impact to the state, home dock city, county and surrounding region, and employment opportunities.
Isle’s Chief Development Officer Paul Keller said, “This project represents one of the largest economic development projects in the history of Cape Girardeau. Our goal is to build a showpiece for southeast Missouri, enhance the historic downtown area, and bring hundreds of quality jobs to the community.”
Isle of Capri operates 15 casinos nationwide, including in properties Boonville, Caruthersville and Kansas City, Missouri.