Making it float: Cape Girardeau casino floor like a barge - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Making it float: Cape Girardeau casino floor like a barge

Isle of Capri's Vice President of Design and Construction Dick Meister explains a large, detailed rendering of the casino floor. Isle of Capri's Vice President of Design and Construction Dick Meister explains a large, detailed rendering of the casino floor.
The platform floating in a pool of water is made up of 180 cells, secured with 42 anchors that adjust to the water pressure below. The platform floating in a pool of water is made up of 180 cells, secured with 42 anchors that adjust to the water pressure below.
The casino construction site The casino construction site
When the entire building's complete, Meister says roughly 25 percent of it will float. When the entire building's complete, Meister says roughly 25 percent of it will float.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Missouri regulations require all gaming devices be on a floating platform or barge.

Isle of Capri's Vice President of Design and Construction says it took several months working with a naval architect to come up with Cape's design.

And, he points out, even with all this work you see, this is still a $125 million gamble.

"There's a lot of risk in getting to this point and getting everything to work and getting it to work right," Dick Meister admits.

As Meister reminds me, you don't get a license and then build the casino. You build the casino, and hope you've done what it takes to get handed that license on opening day.

And one of those requirements is making sure any and all gaming happens on water.

"This is one of the first ones that's an absolute floating platform," Meister tells me, as we look at a large, detailed rendering of the casino floor.

"The floating platform is 41,000 square feet and it fits in a basin which is exactly the same size," he explains.

Meister describes the basin as a giant swimming pool, that will hold some 700,000 gallons of Cape city water.

The platform floating in this pool is made up of 180 cells, secured with 42 anchors that adjust to the water pressure below.

"So that when you come into the facility, you don't know when you're leaving solid land and stepping onto the barge," Meister explains.

But, that barge floor faces the same kind of scrutiny these barges do through the American Bureau of Shipping.

"Everything from the original design drawings to the final inspection to ongoing inspections after we open the facility," he explains.

And some of those inspections mean divers actually swim underneath the floating floor.

"There's actually hatches in the corners. And they'll probably spend the better part of a day and a half, swimming on their backs, inspecting the entire barge," Meister points out.

When the entire building's complete, Meister says roughly 25 percent of it will float.

"As long as we're within 1000 feet of the river and as long as we're floating, you can gamble in the state of Missouri. As long as we get a license!" Meister says with a laugh.

Meister tells me getting the casino floor to float is one of the most complex parts of his design. The other--making the entire structure earthquake resistant.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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