State Gaming Unit to Name Head

By Fred Faust Of the Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 12, 1993 | Go to article overview

State Gaming Unit to Name Head


Fred Faust Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The Missouri Gaming Commission is expected to announce today the appointment of Morton E. Friedman as its top executive. He resigned Monday from his job as the first director of the Illinois Gaming Board.

The Missouri regulators meet this morning in St. Louis. Their meeting is closed to the public, a statement said, because they will be discussing personnel matters.

Commission Chairman Bob Wolfson said Wednesday that the title and salary of the top commission job still have to be decided. Friedman's annual salary in Illinois is $83,000. His resignation is effective Aug. 31.

As the commission's first full-time executive, Friedman will be influential in overseeing the investigations of applicants for licenses as casino managers, employees and suppliers; in recommending to the commission which companies should get the lucrative licenses for riverboat casinos - and whether any companies should get the even more lucrative licenses for dockside casinos.

Casino firms that plan to operate in Missouri are champing at the bit to get going. Wolfson said license applications might start to be accepted about Sept. 15. Background investigations will take at least three months, he said. That means Missouri gambling is unlikely to begin before the end of the year.

Friedman oversaw the beginning of legal gambling in Illinois. He was hired in May 1990. The state's first casino, the Alton Belle, began cruising in September 1991.

Friedman's resignation, which surprised most observers, came just as the Illinois Gaming Board moves closer to a decision on the last of Illinois' 10 casino licenses. …

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