The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Published January 15, 2020
Could gambling boats be coming to the lake?
LAKE OF THE OZARKS – Gambling boats may be in the future for the lake area, thanks to a bill proposed by Representative Rocky Miller.
Miller has filed House Joint Resolution Number 87, which if approved, will be sent to the voters in November and will allow gambling boats on the “navigable” portion of the Osage River.
The proposal would change Section A. Section 39(e), Article III, Constitution of Missouri and add one new section (section 2),
If approved, this would to permit lotteries, gift enterprises, and games of chance to be conducted on excursion gambling boats and floating facilities upon the navigable portion of the Osage River only.
According to Miller’s proposal, “navigable portion” means the navigable portion of the river as recognized by the United States Coast Guard as of January 1, 2019.
Does that apply to The Lake of the Ozarks?
According to various sources, Congress determined the Lake of the Ozarks was a “navigable waterway” in 1931 and therefore a federal mandated body of water. That term allows the Coast Guard’s jurisdiction.
But the bill states that the “navigable portion” is the waterway that is “recognized by the United States Coast Guard as of January 1, 2019.”
Miller’s proposal does not name “The Lake of the Ozarks” and did not state whether the lake is included in the resolution.
But the lake is “The Osage River.”
That could mean that if this proposal makes it to the ballot and is approved by voters throughout the state, then it might allow gambling boats on the Lake of the Ozarks.
The bill has been referred to the Special Committee on Government Oversight and is currently not on a House calendar schedule and at this time, has no co-sponsors.
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