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Casino at Lake of the Ozarks?

The Osage Nation has announced its plans for a casino and hotel at Lake of the Ozarks.

The Osage Nation bought 28 acres of land in June near the city of Lake Ozark in Miller County. The gaming establishment would be located along the shoreline of The Lake of the Ozarks off U.S. Highway 54, about 45 minutes from Lebanon

According to Osage Casinos CEO Byron Bighorse, the parcel has an existing “dilapidated” building and their plan is to raze the structure, clear the land and prepare it for construction.

According to an Oct. 29 Osage Nation press release, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said the Nation will invest $60 million in multiple phases to the property that will feature a casino, restaurants, entertainment and more.

For a tribe to build a casino, the land must be in trust status with the federal government, and a gaming compact must be in place with the state of Missouri – either of which has not happened and could take years. Bighorse said they are working on it.

The project will dramatically expand the Lake-area’s tourism footprint, generating jobs and economic opportunity, and serving as a new revenue engine for the local and state tax base, according to the press release. On average, 90 percent of the workforce employed at similar facilities operated by Osage Nation are non-tribal members, creating new employment opportunities and growing tax revenue for the local community.

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