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Missouri Casinos and Gambling
Short Summary: This page looks at the different forms of gambling in the State of Missouri, discusses the legality of online gambling and gives a detailed listing of all of the Commercial and Tribal casinos in the state.
When most people consider Missouri, they probably think of Branson, a tourist mecca filled with arts, crafts, and a variety of musical acts. While the area nestled in the Ozark Mountains certainly does its part to draw in out-of-state revenue, the casinos scattered about Missouri are just as proficient at generating cash for the government’s coffers.
Missouri is more liberal on gambling than they are in most other areas, and were one of the first states in the country to authorize commercial casinos. These casinos came in the form of riverboats, which basically just means that they were built on barges, which technically puts them in the water; the ‘boats’ don’t go anywhere.
Other forms of gambling in the state include charitable gaming, which also allows for certain games of skill. The organizations conducting the gambling pay license fees while the taxes are assessed on the sale of the gambling products, in other words, the suppliers of the products pay the taxes.
Horse racing is legal within the state, as is pari-mutuel wagering; however, the state currently has no horse racing tracks and there are not any simulcast wagering sections at the casinos. We can expect that to change if Missouri ever passes a sports betting bill, which they have still failed to do (as of the time of this writing). The Kansas City Star is not particularly pleased.
Here are a few snippets:
Right now, in Missouri, state revenues are down while the government struggles with funding for schools and courts. You may have even noticed a pothole or two.
Today, yesterday, and tomorrow thousands of people in both states will place sports bets. Those bets are technically illegal, but rarely punished, the money leaking across borders without regulation, oversight or (most importantly) being taxed.
That’s absolutely right! The writer also (simultaneously) makes an excellent case for legalizing and regulating online casinos, as well. The state should also legalize and regulate video lottery parlors in the manner of states such as Illinois, West Virginia and Montana. When will this happen? According to the Star, Kansas Rep. John Barker had this to say:
“We will give it some priority,” he said.
Having lived in the state, I can say that there are only two speeds at which anything happens in the State of Missouri: Extremely slow and stop. “Giving it some priority,” will, at best, move sports betting into the extremely slow category. I don’t know why the state doesn’t feel like it couldn’t get its hands on those sweet, sweet tax revenues soon enough, but apparently, it’s not a huge concern for them. In the meantime, as mentioned by the Star, residents will just make the bets elsewhere.
Here is another select John Barker quote from the article:
“I don’t think we’re in a race with other states,” Barker said. “But we also don’t want to fall behind.”
That’s great news because, if Missouri (as a state) were to ever enter a race, the result would be DNF. (Did not finish) If the people of Missouri were anything like the politicians, no housefire would ever be escaped because they’d be too busy diddling around. Granted, Barker is a representative from the state of Kansas, but you’d have to live on the western side of Missouri or eastern side of Kansas to even know where one stops and the other starts, and even then, you often end up in the opposite state without even knowing it.
Anyway, horse racing is legal, but there are no tracks; and greyhound racing is not legal.
We doubt if online gambling is going to be on the table anytime soon, especially given the state’s preference for doing things approximately 457 years after all of the other states do. Surprisingly, Missouri was one of the first states to authorize and regulate daily fantasy sports (DFS) because they considered it a game of skill.
We guess they’re just liberal when it comes to the casino gambling and pretty conservative when it comes to everything else. In addition to the offshore online sports betting, some of the states bordering Missouri were extremely quick to license and regulate sports betting, perhaps most notably Illinois, bordering the eastern side of the state.
Like I said before, it either happens slowly or not at all in Missouri.
The Legality Of Online Gambling In Missouri
It should be no surprise that online gambling in Missouri is illegal, with exception to daily fantasy sports (considered a skill game). Naturally, any form of gambling not specifically authorized by the state is considered a Misdemeanor, but as the Kansas City Star even mentioned, people don’t really face any penalties for playing online as mere players.
There have been a few arrests in the state’s history for unauthorized gambling, but in all of those cases, individuals were acting as operators (or bookies) rather than as mere players. We were unable to uncover any instances of a person facing adverse action for acting as a mere player.
The state will very likely legalize and regulate online gambling via a tie to the land casinos in the state, much in the way states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey (among others) do, but it will likely be quite a few years before that happens. The current sports betting bill, which still has yet to pass in Missouri, is in its infancy and doesn’t apply to online casinos gambling. The final form might not even include a way to get sports bets down online.
Ultimately, it’s something that we think will eventually happen, but like anything else in the state, it will probably take awhile.
Top 4 Missouri Casino Sites
Players Accepted Players Accepted
Players Accepted Players Accepted
Land Casinos In Missouri
There are several casino options in the State of Missouri with most (if not all) being riverboat casinos. There’s no actual reason to designate them one way or the other because, if they are, ‘boats,’ they basically just sit on platforms and don’t actually go anywhere. At this time, there are no Tribal casinos in the Show Me State.
Ameristar Casino Resort Spa, St. Charles
Ameristar Casino Resort Spa is located in St. Charles, Missouri, and is about a half-hour northwest of St. Louis, or two hours northwest of St. Louis, depending on traffic.
I knew Ameristar is owned by Boyd Gaming and is part of the BConnected rewards program as soon as I went to their website, not because their website told me, but because their website is broken on Chrome. It works perfectly fine on Safari, but I’m not going to use Safari because Boyd Gaming takes in billions of dollars per year in revenues and can afford to hire someone to fix this Chrome problem. It’s been this way for years.
The casino floor consists of 130,000 square feet of gaming space, which includes over 2,000 combined slot, video poker and video keno machines. Denominations range from pennies to C-Notes ($100), with the latter being located in the high-limit area.
Table games include, according to their website, “Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Three Card Poker, and Pai Gow Poker, to name a few, as well as the latest specialty games.” Apparently, Boyd Gaming does not care enough to tell you what those specialty games are, which is no surprise because they also don’t care to have a website that is minimally functional on Google Chrome, so if they don’t care to list them all, nor do we.
Here’s the description of the poker room, “One of the world’s oldest card games, poker has evolved into an all-American favorite. Here, you’ll experience this exciting game as it was meant to be played. Join the nonstop action in our poker room.” That’s probably the least helpful description ever written. The following section then goes on to talk about the amenities of the poker room, one of which is a Pepsi Spire machine. Apparently, they think they are the only poker room to have soda pop, which means they’ve not been to literally any other poker room anywhere.
Do they bother to list how many poker tables they have or what individual games they deal? Of course not. Why list things relevant to poker in the poker section?
It’s like the site was written by someone who doesn’t know anything about casinos, which would be no surprise, because none of their tech people seem to understand how to make a site operate on Google Chrome.
We know they at least deal Hole ‘Em and Omaha because they mention those bad beat jackpots, but there should be a section just dealing with what kind of games they deal.
The fine dining section includes Asia as well as Bugatti’s Steak and Pasta. Casual dining includes Amerisports Bar & Grill, Falcon Diner, Landmark Buffet, and Pearl’s Oyster Bar. Quick bites include Fifth Street Deli, Falcon Bakery, King Cat Club and Star Club Lounge.
There’s almost certainly some entertainment and nightlife, but we’re not going to get into it until they make their Chrome website at least minimally functional. We like to do comprehensive casino listings here, but the casinos who want to provide us the information on a working website and in great detail deserve to see that detail reflected here.
Ameristar Kansas City
Ameristar Kansas City is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, and to our current misfortune, is operated by Boyd Gaming. We say our current misfortune because the result is that their website barely works on Chrome. It’s nearly impossible to navigate and consists only of text.
The property is home to a hotel consisting of over 180 guest rooms and suites as well as a gaming floor consisting of 140,000 square feet of gaming real estate. The property was originally opened as Station Casino, until Ameristar acquired it and changed its name. Since that time, the casino has had a few different parent companies, but has retained the Ameristar name.
The casino boasts nearly 2,800 combined slot, video poker and video keno machines ranging in denominations from pennies to hundreds. Table games include blackjack, craps and roulette. The property is also home to a poker room.
In terms of individual eateries, this site is somehow worse than the other Boyd sites on Chrome and it keeps navigating me away from the site specifically for this casino and back to the Boyd Gaming main site.
Argosy is a casino located in Riverside, Missouri, which is close to Parkville and could easily be mistaken for still being in Kansas City. It’s along I-635 just southeast of Parkville running along the Missouri River. It’s owned and operated by Penn National Gaming and is part of the MyChoice players club program.
The website indicates a AAA four diamond rating and makes reference to a spa, but none of the other amenities seem to be listed on the hotel page. I called the property and was informed that there are 258 total guest rooms, of which eight of them are suites.
The property is home to over 1,400 combined video poker, video keno and slot machines. The 42 table games include blackjack, craps, roulette, mini-baccarat, Heads Up Hold ‘Em and Cajun Stud. The, “How to play,” section lists other games, but does not specifically say that they are actually available in the casino. As always, if you’re looking for one of the games outside of the casino staples, then we suggest calling ahead for the usual operating hours.
Eateries include the steakhouse, which is called Journey. 99 Hops House is a pub serving pub food as well as any number of craft beers, many of which are local to the Kansas City area. The Lucky Taco is the casino’s Mexican restaurant. The buffet is called the Terrace Buffet. Zoe’s Coffee is the place for coffee and snacks while Leo’s Deli is good for quick bites. Finally, there is an Asian restaurant called Red Lotus Asian Kitchen.
Their website is pretty sparse when it comes to entertainment-related information.
Overall, this is just a mid-sized casino billing itself as a resort due to the hotel and room quality. Having been there, I would suggest that you wouldn’t really build a trip around going to this casino, but it’s worth a stop if you’re in town and might be a great place to stay if you’re going to be around that part of Kansas City anyway. Regardless of where you’re coming from, it’s pretty easy to get to, so that’s a plus.
Harrah’s North Kansas City
Harrah’s North Kansas City is a property consisting of just over 60,000 feet of gaming space and is home to a hotel consisting of nearly 400 guest rooms and suites. It is owned by Vici Properties and operated by Caesars Entertainment, as such, it is part of the Total Rewards players club program.
After two redirects, we found the amenities which include a fitness center, business center and free wireless internet access for guests. The other, ‘Amenities,’ listed are pretty standard for every hotel in the country. They actually list, “24-hour front desk,” as an amenity, but having someone to check you in is usually considered a pretty fundamental component of a hotel.
The casino floor is made up in part of over 1,300 combined slot, video keno and video poker machines in a wide range of denominations. The website has sections briefly talking about video keno and video poker, but it does not offer individual machine counts for those games and just names a few random video poker games they have. Table games include Blackjack, Mini-Baccarat, Craps, Roulette, Texas Shootout and Pai-Gow Poker. There may well be others, but those are the ones listed by the website. We recommend calling for more information or general hours of your game of choice.
There is a thirteen table poker room, but the page declines to indicate what specific games are dealt. The tournament schedule only indicates Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, so that is probably the only game that can be assumed to be there. At the time that I frequented that casino (over a decade ago) the only games were Limit Texas Hold ‘Em and No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em. We recommend the Bravo Poker Live app for live information on the poker games taking place at this casino and several others across the country.
The events page highlights a wide variety of acts, regional and national, and can be found here.
Restaurants include the upscale 37’ Steak, The Buffet at Harrah’s is a buffet, Royal Noodle Bar has Asian food and Winning Streaks is a sports pub consisting of typical pub fare and brews. Bite & Bean is the place to go for grab and go.
If you’re in the Kansas City areas and prefer staying at casino properties, we highly recommend this one. Located just North of the River, it’s pretty convenient to most of the highways and is also located within five miles of Isle of Capri Kansas City and five miles of Ameristar Kansas City. It’s partially in-between the two, so it makes a good home base for checking out the city’s casinos. With that said, there’s really not much to it besides the gambling and a few restaurants, so it can hardly be called a destination unto itself.
Hollywood Casino St. Louis
Located in Maryland Heights, Missouri, the Hollywood Casino is located near the population hub of St. Louis northwest of the city and just south of Saint Charles. Travel times can vary significantly depending on traffic and where in the city you’re coming from.
The property consists of 502 rooms, which includes 47 suites. The gaming floor consists of 120,000 square feet, making this one of the biggest gaming floors in the Midwest. The property is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, is operated by Penn National Gaming and, as such, is part of the MyChoice players club.
The property was originally Harrah’s St. Louis, but Caesars Entertainment sold it to Penn National, who sold it to Gaming and Leisure Properties, who leased casino operations back to Penn National…in 2012.
Aside from the airport shuttle service and free wireless internet, the things listed as, “Amenities,” are pretty standard to literally any hotel in the country.
The property is home to over 2,000 combined slot machines, video poker and video keno games. The 93 table games include, from their website, “Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, and more.” We don’t know what, “And more,” might be, because if they don’t care enough about the players to list all the games they spread, then we won’t list them either. The Asian Gaming section of the site adds Pai-Gow Poker to the list, but beyond that, we would suggest calling them for more information. Or, better yet, going to a casino that actually bothers to tell you what games they have.
The Hollywood AmpiTheatre features a wide variety of regional and national acts and is accessible via a short shuttle bus ride from the casino on concert nights. Hollywood Live consists of live bands and DJ’s that appear at the casino’s bars on weekends.
The steakhouse for this casino is obligatorily named, “Final Cut Steakhouse.” 99 Hops House states they have that number of beer choices and serves bar food, this is also one of the venues for weekend entertainment. The buffet, surprisingly enough, is called Eat Up buffet…almost every other Hollywood’s buffet is called Epic Buffet. Additional eateries include Charlie Gitto’s (Italian), Celebrity Grill, Phat Tai and Hollywood and Grind coffee shop.
Line any other Hollywood Casino, it does what it says on the box. If you’ve seen one Hollywood Casino, then you’ve seen all of them; they are as cookie-cutter as a Microtel. This one just happens to be bigger than most.
Isle Casino Cape Girardeau
Located due South of St. Louis along the Missouri/Illinois border (the Mississippi River) Isle Casino is located along the riverbanks of Cape Girardeau. The property is owned and operated by El Dorado Resorts and, having opened in 2012, is Missouri’s newest casino.
The casino does not have a hotel at this time, but El Dorado Resorts has recently agreed to a sale of the property to Vici Properties who will lease the establishment to Century Gaming, who will handle operations. Century Gaming has indicated that they eventually plan to add a hotel. The sale has been agreed to, but it has not yet been finalized.
In the meantime, the Isle is a locals’ casino in both scope and size, with a gaming floor that comes in at a trim 42,000 square feet.
The casino floor consists of over 850 combined slots, video poker, video keno and video blackjack games. Video blackjack can often be assumed if there is video poker, but we’re going to specifically mention it since they did. The twenty table games include Blackjack, Craps No More, Roulette, Mississippi Stud, Three-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and Baccarat. Given the size of the casino, we strongly encourage you to call ahead for the general hours of your preferred game.
The four poker tables deal Texas Hold ‘Em as well as Omaha on Thursday-Monday early morning. We recommend calling ahead or checking Bravo Poker Live to be sure games are going at your desired time, given the very small size of this casino.
Restaurants include Farraday’s (casual), Keller’s (pub) and The Lone Wolf Express, which is a grab & go. As of this time, the bar called The Lone Wolf features live entertainment on Saturdays.
Long story short, the place is a locals’ casino like any other and basically meets the checklist of virtually any El Dorado Resorts casino that you’ll find anywhere, or most of them. It will be interesting to see if they try to turn the property into something more closely resembling a destination with the addition of the hotel, but for now, we’d say it’s worth a stop if you’re a local or happen to be passing through, nothing more or less.
Isle of Capri-Boonville
The Isle of Capri-Boonville is one of two casinos (Kansas City) in the state to bear the full Isle of Capri moniker. The property is located northwest of the state’s capital of Jefferson City, along the Missouri River. It is owned and operated by El Dorado Resorts and consist of 140 guest rooms and a modestly-sized casino floor.
Wireless internet and a fitness center are the hotel’s only amenities worthy of note. Everything else listed as an amenity is fairly standard for anywhere.
The slot floor consists of just shy of 900 combined slot, video poker and video keno machines. Table games operate during limited hours, which can be found here.
And include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette (live and electronic), Let it Ride, EZ Baccarat, Cajun Stud, Criss Cross Poker and High Card Flush. The typical operating hours of the novelty table games likely differ from the general operating hours, so we recommend calling in advance if you are looking for one of those games.
There are three restaurants which include the Farmer’s Pick Buffet, Farradday’s Bistro and Tradewinds Marketplace, with the last being mostly a grab and go. There is no other form of entertainment listed on the website at this time, though they do advertise a stay and play package consisting of the hotel and golf at a nearby golf course.
This casino basically fits the El Dorado Resorts mold of a locals casino, and if you’ve seen one El Dorado property, you’ve seen most of them. It’s not worth a trip unto itself, but might be worth a stop if you happen to be nearby anyway, mostly just a locals’ casino.
Isle of Capri-Kansas City
The Isle of Capri Kansas City is located along the Missouri River and is just in the area that residents describe as, “North of the River.” If you’re looking for a place that is convenient to other casinos, it’s not a bad choice, given its proximity to Harrah’s and Ameristar. This smallish property is not home to a hotel and is owned and operated by El Dorado Resorts.
The property is home to more than 950 combined slots, video poker and video keno games. Table games operate daily from 10:30a-3:00a and include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Six Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. We would recommend calling for the general hours of operation for any game other than Blackjack given how small this casino is.
The two restaurants consist of The Lone Wolf and Tradewinds Marketplace.
This is pretty strictly a locals place, but may be worth a stop if you’re in the area or happen to be staying at one of the area casinos that has a hotel and want to check out somewhere different. Aside from that, if you’ve been to one El Dorado property, then you’ve been to most El Dorado properties and this is no exception, just a little smaller.
Lady Luck Casino
The Lady Luck Casino is located in Caruthersville, MO, and is located along the Mississippi River south of Cape Girardeau, which itself is south of St. Louis. At 21,000 square feet of gaming space, it is very much a locals joint and will be among the smaller casino floors you are likely to ever see. El Dorado Resorts has agreed to a sale of this property to Vici Properties, much like the Isle Cape Girardeau, it will then be leased to Century Gaming for its operations.
The property is not home to a hotel, though there is an RV Park located on the property, so that might be an option if you are travelling by that means and are in the area. Obviously, the property is way too small to be worth a visit unto itself.
The machines total over 500 and consist of slots, video poker and video keno. There are nine gaming tables including Craps, Roulette, Mississippi Stud, Three-Card Poker and Trilux, which is a Blackjack and Three-Card Poker hybrid. We recommend calling ahead for the general hours of operation for your game of choice given the casino’s very limited size.
The two restaurants are Otis and Henry’s and Otis and Henry’s Express.
This is smaller than most El Dorado Resorts properties, but is otherwise substantially similar. Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, in Pennsylvania, would probably be a very close comparison if you’ve ever been there.
Mark Twain Casino
Mark Twain Casino and RV Park is a small casino located in LaGrange, Missouri, which is in the northeast corner of the state along the Mississippi River. The casino was originally owned by Grace Entertainment, but was then purchased by Herbst Gaming which would later change its name to Affinity Gaming.
The casino floor consists of a very small 18,000 square feet, which makes it even smaller than the aforementioned Isle of Capri. Naturally, the property caters mostly to locals, though it is home to an RV park. There are about 430 combined video poker, video keno and slot machines while table games include Blackjack, Craps, Crazy4Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, High Five Poker, E-Blackjack, and E-Roulette. We recommend calling ahead for the usual hours of operation for everything except the electronic games given the small size of the casino.
The two eateries are Huckleberry’s Smokehouse and Winner’s Grill.
Aside from a gift shop, there’s really not much more to it.
Lumiere Place is a sizable casino, with a gaming floor that comes in at 75,000 square feet, and is owned and operated by El Dorado Resorts. This hotel casino, located in St. Louis, is within a mile of the St. Louis Arch and is conveniently located Downtown.
The property changed hands a few times and almost went to Gaming and Leisure Properties. That sale from Tropicana Entertainment was prevented due to antitrust concerns as it would give Gaming and Leisure ownership of every casino in the St. Louis area, though they do not operate any of them. As a result, El Dorado Resorts, who was originally set to lease the property from Gaming and Leisure for operations ended up buying it instead.
The property actually consists of two hotels: The Four Seasons and Hotel Lumiere, but both are on the same property. Combined, the two hotels account for nearly 500 guest rooms and suites. The property is also home to an entertainment venue seating over 400 people, which is called the Lumiere Theatre.
Hotel amenities include a pool and fitness center, with a spa also located on the Four Seasons side of the establishment. Guests also enjoy complimentary wireless internet access.
Currently, the players club for the property is TropAdvantage, but that is very likely to change with the purchase of Caesars Entertainment by El Dorado set to be completed in 2020. At that point, it is very likely that El Dorado properties will all convert to Total Rewards.
The gaming floor consists of over 1,300 combined slot, video poker and video keno machines. Table Games include Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Roulette, Three-Card Poker, Pai-Gow Poker, Let it Ride and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. We recommend calling ahead for the typical hours of operation for any of the carnival games. The ten tables in the poker room deal Limit Hold ‘Em, No Limit Hold ‘Em and Pot-Limit Omaha. We recommend the Bravo Poker Live app, if this casino is listed, for up to the minute information on what games are being played.
Restaurants include Cinder House (steak and sea), Morton’s Steakhouse, Ozzie’s Burger Bar, The Kitchen Buffet, The Wok and Sucre (coffee and sandwiches). The property’s main bar is the ultra-modern The Sports Bar.
If you like staying at casino properties, we highly recommend this one if you are visiting the St. Louis area. There isn’t anything particularly unique about it, but it has basically everything that you could want to ensure a comfortable stay, as well as a decent selection of dining options.
River City Casino
River City Casino is located in LeMay, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis (south), and is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties while operated by Penn National Gaming. At 90,000 square feet of total gaming space, the casino floor occupies significant real estate and is one of the larger ones in the state.
Hotel amenities include wireless internet, a fitness center and a business center. All of the other listed amenities are fairly standard. These are not complimentary as there is a nightly $10, “Amenity Fee,” which is just a different way of saying resort fee. After calling the property, I was able to determine that there are a total of 200 rooms.
Casino floor offerings include just shy of 2,000 combined slots, video poker and video keno machines. The high limit room is home to some slots as well as Blackjack and 21 + 3 games. There is a separate Baccarat room on the property, so those who enjoy that game should be excited about that. Other table games on the main floor include Craps, Craps No More, Roulette, Heads-Up Hold ‘Em, Three Card Prime, Cajun Stud, Sic Bo and Deuces and Joker Wild Poker. We strongly recommend calling ahead for the operating hours of any of the novelty games.
Dining options include 1904 Steak House, Asia Noodles, The Beerhouse, Cibare Italian Kitchen, Burger Brothers, Club 38 and a buffet known as The Great Food Expedition. Judy’s Velvet Lounge is a 1920’s themed lounge which features live entertainment on weekends.
The entertainment schedule is available here.
With any luck, this casino will retain its theme and charm by NOT being rebranded as a Hollywood Casino. We consider it just as solid an option as the Lumiere Place for those visiting the St. Louis area. The Lumiere Place is more convenient to Downtown, of course, but this is an excellent alternative if you want to be outside of the midst of everything.
St. Jo Frontier Casino
St. Jo Frontier Casino is a casino located in St. Joseph, Missouri, along the Missouri River. St. Joseph is roughly forty miles north of Kansas City. The property is owned by Affinity Gaming, and coming in at a slim 18,000 square foot gaming floor, it is the second-smallest casino in the state.
The property is not home to a hotel.
The property features over 420 combined slots, video poker and video keno machines. The table games open at noon every day (as of the time of this writing) and consist of Blackjack, Deuces and Jokers Wild Poker, Electronic Roulette, Craps, Texas Shootout, Mississippi Stud and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. We very strongly advise calling ahead for the usual hours of operation for any of the novelty games as it is highly doubtful they are always open.
Eateries include Rivers Edge Restaurant, Rivers Edge Sportsbar and Winner’s Bar and Grill. The apostrophe is in the wrong place on the last restaurant, unless there is only one winner. Occasionally, a live band will appear at the property, but that is hardly typical with only one such scheduled event for the remainder of the year (it’s August now) as of the time of this writing.
Basically, this is just a locals place, but might be worth a stop if you’re passing through the area anyway.
State Lottery in Missouri
Lottery tickets were first sold in the state in 1986. Revenue initially went to a state fund, but voters approved an amendment that would divert the lottery proceeds to public education in 1992.
Missouri conducts a lottery that is part of the multi-state Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots. Topline ticket sales for the lottery came in at $1,400,216,223 of which $939,479,882 were paid out in winnings, for an overall return-to player of 67.1%, which is actually pretty good, for lottery standards. This RTP was driven mostly by scratch-off tickets being extremely popular in the state. There were a total of $906,750,562 dollars in scratchers sales and prizes totaled $627,758,243 for an RTP of 69.23%
The population of Missouri is approximately 6.126 million, there was a total of $460,736,341 lost to the lottery by residents, for a total of $75.21 in losses per resident against $228.57 in sales. For whatever reason, the Mega Millions and Powerball don’t seem to be as popular in Missouri as other states.
Here is the annual lottery report for anyone who cares to read it.
Scratch cards can be purchased for as little as $1, and some versions award up to $250,000. You must be at least 18 to buy any type of lottery product.
The following are the types of lottery games currently available in Missouri:
- Lucky for Life – Offers the winner $1,000 per day for the rest of their life.
- Powerball – Drawn twice a week with a starting jackpot of $40 million.
- Mega Millions – Two drawings are held each week, with jackpots starting at $15 million.
- Monopoly Millionaire’s Club – Each ticket costs $5, and jackpots range from $15 million to $25 million.
- Missouri Lotto – Drawn twice a week, with a progressive jackpot that begins at $1 million.
- Show Me Cash – Drawings take place daily, with a jackpot starting at $50,000.
- Pick 3 – Players try to match three numbers in order to win a variety of prizes.
- Pick 4 – Players try to match four numbers in order to win a variety of prizes.
- Club Keno – Prizes vary, but a drawing is held every four minutes.
Owning a Slot Machine in Missouri
Residents of Missouri can legally own a slot machine for personal use as long as it’s more than 30 years old. While the owner is able to operate the device for entertainment purposes, it cannot be used to generate a profit. This would qualify the machine as an illegal gambling device, which would make it subject to possible seizure and destruction by the state.
Conclusion And Prognosis
Though they have had commercial casinos (tied to riverboats) for quite some time, Missouri is otherwise pretty conservative and slow compared to the rest of the gambling states. For one thing, the Legislature is seriously dragging its feet on authorizing sports betting, and even that legislation makes no mention of doing anything online.
It’s really kind of a shame because, if you’re east of the Missouri River or west of the Mississippi River, there’s really not much for you. The riverboat law essentially means that some reasonably-sized population centers in the state are underserved and that potential gaming revenue is probably lost as those people travel to gambling destination states, such as Nevada, or even Mississippi or Louisiana. The casinos in-state don’t really seem to offer anything that would make them more of a draw than out-of-state casinos.
The result is that we don’t expect online gambling to come into play in a legalized and regulated way anytime soon. We imagine that it will eventually, but it’s hard to predict a specific time. We also don’t know how long the sports betting legislation will take, but it’s hard to imagine that not happening eventually. Unfortunately for those not living near a river, we would be surprised to ever see other casinos or video lottery parlors come into being.
- Missouri Gaming Commission
- Missouri Lottery: Official Site
- Wikipedia: List of Casinos in Missouri