According to Mark Twain, gambling on the Mississippi river will never die out, but that is only true in an age now long ago. From wagering between friends to the beautiful and majestic riverboat casinos is was part of the daily life of many along the USA’s largest river.
The first legal blackjack, craps, and video poker games came topside on the Admiral riverboat in St. Louis Missouri on May 27, 1994. The hopes of this new industry were the promise of more jobs and tax revenue.
Missouri’s first floating casino has followed the ways of the river with its ups and downs. Now, almost 21 years later, the Admiral riverboat doesn’t exist. It is completely demolished. Its replacement towers on land, the Lumière Place.
Many sponsored the new casino with hopes of saving tourism for the state. The plans of Riverboat Cruises associated with Mark Twain and many other exciting forms of tourist attractions did not unfold. Gaming took center stage and the Vegas-style evolved, which is not what St. Louis wanted. Actually Vegas is dealing some new hands for 2015.
Las Vegas is now trying on a completely new look called “the New Las Vegas”. Gambling is really not their priority anymore. The recent Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight that grossed 500 million shows that they can make profits without having to shove gambling games in front of everyone. Lately, Vegas wants to realize that they are a town with so much more to offer than a deck of cards and a slot machine.
Of course they want you to spend, just in a few different ways, like at the ticket booths, restaurants, and at their real money online casinos. Casinobonusandfreechip states, “Real money internet gambling in the USA will exceed traditional gambling, but not until well after 2015 is past”.
According to the Missouri Gaming Commission, the casinos did provide revenue for the schools and other benefits but up to date data reveals that the now 13-casino industry is not bringing in what they used to for the taxpayers. They are now changing to the New Las Vegas model. Brent Ghan, spokesman for the Missouri School Boards stated last year, “We continue to this day to battle the perception that gaming money takes care of the needs of our schools”.
Fallert, the former state representative stated on the 20th year anniversary, “It’s different than what I had hoped it would have been. It kind of got away from the original idea.” Fallert was the chief sponsor of the 1991 bill that set up the referendum that started today’s industry in Missouri.
Kerry Messer of anti-gambling Missouri Family Network stated, “They showed us commercials with Mark Twain-like characters going up and down the river saying, ‘This is what Missouri casinos are going to look like.’…I don’t know of a single promise they made that they kept.”
Arlene Miller, a certified gambling addiction counselor stated, “Because of the presence of the casinos, there are certain people who would have not otherwise become addicted. There’s all this access with the 24/7 gambling.”
For Twain, the “magnificent Mississippi, rolling its mile-wide tide” was the stuff of dreams. The dreams and assumptions of many in St. Louis have become water under the bridge. The Mississippi is still magnificent and rolling with new casino dreams on the horizon of it’s river banks.