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Deadline for gaming proposals extended

Residents will have to wait one more month before they discover which casino developers will take their chances on south county.

The St. Louis County Port Authority extended its request for proposals for a south county gaming facility from Sept. 12 to Oct. 15 since applications for the city's similar request for proposals also are due Oct. 15 — helping to deal developers the fairest hand.

Mark Brady, the St. Louis County Economic Council's assistant vice president for real estate and community development, told Port Authority members Sept. 9 that the old deadline would have been an obstacle for parties interested in submitting applications to the south county request for gaming proposals.

Brady said the Sept. 12 submission date would have held until a potential developer expressed concerns with the difference in the deadlines.

Because the south county application deadline was 30 days before the city's, he said, responses legally would have been open for public inspection. This would have created a competitive disadvantage for companies submitting applications to both requests, he said.

"Competitors can look at the public version and have a leg up," he said. "So, after some internal discussion, we decided to extend the deadline so it coincides with the deadline of the city — therefore putting everyone on a level playing field."

Letters have been sent to all interested parties notifying them the deadline has changed to Oct. 15.

The Port Authority issued the request for proposals in mid-June.

Denny Coleman, Economic Council president and chief executive officer, told a group of developers at a July 11 public meeting that the Missouri Gaming Commission has identified south county as an "untapped" market for gaming operation.

Overall, Brady told Port Authority members that he is pleased with the amount of interest casino developers are showing in south county.

He said the application process shows a lot of promise because developers will have to provide similar information that the Gaming Commission also requires.

This would help rule out applicants that do not meet Missouri Gaming Commission standards.

The Port Authority's request for proposals does not restrict developers to any specific location as long as they submit proposals for casino locations somewhere in the unincorporated areas of south county.

Selection committee members will evaluate site proposals based on economic, tax and employment benefits and other revenue factors, according to a Port Authority news release.

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