Riverboats are the only option for real money casino gambling in Missouri. There are no “land-based” casinos, Indian or commercial. Riverboat gambling became legal in 1992 through a voters referendum that ended in its favor. Missouri is the fifth state to legalize this form of gambling. At the start, the casinos would head out to sea for two-hour gaming sessions before returning to the bay. By the early 2000s, these cruise ships were no longer required to sail out to sea due to an amendment to the existing law. Nowadays, patrons are allowed continuous boarding, and most riverboats are open 24/7.
The only legal online casinos are social casinos. Players have access to online slots and table games at these sites. The games allow only free play, and as a rule, you do not win any real money rewards from such sites. Sweepstake casinos are the exception to the rule. This gaming model gives players the chance to be randomly chosen as winners, for rewards in cash and kind.
Unfortunately, the casino scene is not doing so well here, and gaming facilities are experiencing a decline in revenue. A pair of bills legalizing sports betting seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel. Lawmakers have begun talks on the matter of legalizing wagering within state borders. The current debate is about who will have regulatory power, the Missouri Gaming Commission, or the Missouri Lottery Commission. Hopefully, in the not so distant future, players will begin placing their first sports wager at approved sportsbooks.
Charitable gaming was approved in 1980 as the first movement into gambling. Then, in 1986 came the state lottery. Bingo and raffles are featured at charity events, and the lottery offers state & multi-state drawings.
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Interesting State Facts
Missouri shares borders with eight states and its name comes from a tribe of Sioux Indians called Missouris. It is called the “Show Me State,” but with more than 6000 caves, it might as well take up the moniker, “the Cave State.” There is even a cave restaurant in Richland, the only one of its kind in the country.
On the innovation and invention front, Missouri had its fair share of fame in 1904 with the invention of the ice cream cone and iced tea simultaneously. The ice cream cone was invented at the St. Louis World’s Fair when a vendor ran out of cups and had to roll up waffles from the nearby stall to hold the ice-cream. At the same event, a waiter had mixed ice in with a cup of tea, thus marking the invention of the first iced tea.
Kansas has the most number of fountains in a city besides Rome. It holds the world record for the tallest man—a St. Louis native who stood 8 feet, 11.1 inches tall.
Missouri Gambling Venues
Missouri is famous for its waterways, and it is quite fitting that all casinos are water-based. There are 13 riverboats along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers that make up the eastern border and a part of the western side. Artificial moats and ponds were also created within cities to support the industry. At such locations, the riverboats are nothing more than buildings with fake apparatus like smokestacks as the only resemblance to actual ships.
Two casinos can be found in Kansas with two others on the outskirts. Ameristar is the largest with 2,200 slots, 66 table games, and 16 poker tables. Another four casinos lie within and nearby St. Louis. Three can be found on the eastern borders and serve residents from Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Finally, on the east-west band of the Missouri river resides Isle of Capri casino, Boonville.
Available social casinos include Double Down, Slotomania, Zynga, Big Fish. With the MyVegas app, players can earn comp points and redeem them at any MGM property, although none is in the state’s territory.
Players can join offshore real-money casinos that accept Missourians. However, one should tread carefully with these operators. State Lawmakers do not appreciate online gambling, so players at offshore sites have no protection under the law.