Gaming Commission Bristles at AG's Criticism of Caruthersville Casino Takeover

NOVEMBER 9, 2006 - Posted at 4:53 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Missouri Gaming Commission director Gene McNary is upset at Attorney General Jay Nixon for criticizing the state plan to take over a casino.

The commission voted last week to temporarily take over the Casino Aztar in Caruthersville until a licensed buyer can be found.

McNary says the unusual move was necessary to save 300 jobs and $6 million in fees and taxes the casino pays.

The casino's owner is being sold to a Kentucky company.  That company has not obtained a Missouri license and plans to sell the casino, but a licensed buyer could not be in place by a mid-November deadline.

Nixon says the takeover is a conflict with the commission's regulatory duties.

McNary is calling Nixon's letter a "blatant political statement."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)