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East St. Louis Mayor: Casino Queen Real Estate Deal Shouldn’t Affect City

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOX) - The city of East St. Louis expects no change to its tax revenue from a deal announced this week at the Casino Queen.

A Pennsylvania real-estate investment trust, Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. is buying the Casino Queen’s real estate assets and then leasing them back to the Casino to pay down debt.

The deal is pending approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks says they will have to confirm the issue with the gaming board, but he believes the city will still get the tax revenue, adding “it’s critically important that we do not loose any of that revenue.”

Parks says Casino Queen generates about $8 million a year in revenue for city coffers — or about 40 percent of the city’s annual budget.

The $140 million land deal includes the casino itself, a hotel, RV park and 78 acres of land. Under the plan, the Casino Queen would pay $14 million a year in rent to the new owners.

Parks says “the Casino Queen has been an outstanding corporate citizen for the city,” even buying the city a new fire truck last this year.

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