Hedging a Bet
Because companies already operating casinos in Missouri are sponsoring the ballot measure through an initiative petition and have refused to negotiate for a share in the Cape Girardeau project, [businessman David] Knight said he must attract an out-of-state casino operator to take part. He intends to have an application ready if the ballot measure fails to make the ballot or if voters reject the proposal.
“We’ve got nobody left in Missouri to talk to,” Knight said. “We are proceeding on in the meantime and getting a gaming partner.”
Thanks to the rhetoric-charged protectionism of the initiative and the short-term moratorium it spawned, Missouri stands to lose a large development to out-of-state builders. It appears that although no one in-state is willing to begin a project that faces considerable risk of being legally prohibited in November, Mr. Knight will be able to find someone else who will help him build his casino. If the initiative never materializes as law, Missourians will watch as recent regulatory debacles negatively affect the state’s businesses. If ballot issue is passed, we will never know the damages caused to state revenues, recipients of casino taxes, and entrepreneurial individuals like Mr. Knight.