Casino Queen Hires Contractor - Thursday 23rd of February 2006

ILLINOIS – As reported by the St. Louis Today: "The Casino Queen hired a contractor on Tuesday to build the state's first land-based gaming facility, a gamble the boat operators say is worth it to compete with the growing gaming business across the Mississippi River.

"The Queen's board of directors hired Clayco Construction of Overland to build a boat in a moat, which would actually be a 236,000-square-foot building atop a barge sitting in water about 10 feet deep. The facility is the first in Illinois not actually located on a river; in fact, it will be located 686 feet from the Mississippi. State legislators last year granted the Casino Queen a special exemption to build off the river.

"Work on the facility is expected to begin in April and take about 16 months.

"The Queen expects the $150 million move to be a big payoff.

"…The Casino Queen docked on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River across from the Gateway Arch in 1993, bringing millions of dollars into this beleaguered community of just more than 30,000. The $10 million a year that East St. Louis receives from the boat represents half the city's operating budget. The new facility is expected to pump in another $1 million to $1.5 million a year in gambling taxes for East St. Louis…"

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