Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

I guess there’s a casino in town.

Not an official one, so to speak.

Its foundation doesn’t touch water, and there aren’t any table games.

But there are slots.

Three of them.

At last Thursday night’s meeting of the Seymour Board of Aldermen, North Ward Alderman Jim Ashley noted that he had been told one guy hit a $1,000 jackpot.

He also had heard of another winner of a smaller amount.

Good for them.

The thing is, Seymour isn’t supposed to have slot machines.

Or games of chance.

Or really any type of game where you gamble, other than buying state-sanctioned Missouri Lottery tickets, which have been legal for three decades.

Or so city leaders thought.

So, where are the slots located?

Inside Seymour Liquor & Tobacco.

For those of you who don’t frequent the establishment, it’s located at the intersection of North Division and West Steel streets, just south of U.S. 60.

Many months ago, a fellow from Mountain Grove came to a city meeting and approached the aldermen about bringing some sort of similar machines to the same store.

Frankly, I’m not sure of what type of machines he was talking about.

He received a firm no and was sent on his way.

However, with Ashley’s announcement last Thursday, we learned our own version of Downstream was up and running right here in “The Summit City Of The Ozarks,” minus a food buffet and Native American front men.

Seymour Police Chief Steven Pogue was at this meeting, and he confirmed the operation is up and running.

Pogue also noted that he spoke with Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser. And Berkstresser, per Pogue, said the machines aren’t legal.

“Don’t we have an ordinance against this?” South Ward Alderman Nadine Crisp asked.

City Administrator Hillary Gintz had the answer.

It was no.

Perhaps an aldermanic oversight, I suppose. Then again, the lack of interest by the city board last year should have sent a message to the liquor-store folks.

I guess not.

Gintz made it clear that until the city could legally make the machines leave, they were staying, per the owners of Seymour Liquor & Tobacco.

It appears that life expectancy is two weeks.

Just so you know, Seymour’s aldermen unanimously voted to draft an ordinance that prohibits the machines. It will be ready to go at the city’s next meeting on Thursday, May 21.

In the interim, I suppose frequenters of the three machines should get their fill until the meeting arrives.

Maybe someone will win $1,000.

While four others lose that amount.

* * * * * *

Reading time, one minute:

• Free Casey’s General Store.

Although no one from the city got a heads up from corporate folks in Ankeny, Iowa, customers of the Casey’s General Store on Main Street received word last week that the store soon will be closing.

As in real soon.

At 9 p.m. this Sunday evening, to be exact.

Announcement of the closure came in a simple format.

A sign taped to the window.

Let’s hope the model in Seymour doesn’t follow the one in nearby Ava, where the old Casey’s today sits dormant, leaving an empty building in a good location.

That’s especially true here — the Casey’s to be closed is located at the four-way stop on the city’s main drag.

Not an ideal spot for an empty building.

Dan Wehmer is the Citizen’s editor, publisher and owner. He can be reached at 417-935-2257 or via e-mail at citizen@webstercountycitizen.com.

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