Missouri News

New general manager named at Mark Twain Casino in LaGrange

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 20, 2018 9:30 am

LaGRANGE, Mo. -- Luke Keller is the new vice president and general manager of Mark Twain Casino in LaGrange.

Affinity Gaming, which owns the casino and 10 other gaming sites around the country, announced the appointment in a news release.

Keller will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Mark Twain Casino and its nearby recreational vehicle park. He also will be responsible for strategic planning and implementing gaming procedures.

For the past six years, Keller was director of marketing at Lakeside Hotel and Casino in Osceola, Iowa, which is also an Affinity Gaming property. He oversaw marketing initiatives, advertising, direct mail, player services, entertainment, group and facility sales, promotion forecasting implementation and profitability, database analytics, and modeling.

"I am truly honored to take the next step of my career with Affinity Gaming at Mark Twain Casino and RV Park," Keller said. "Affinity Gaming has become an extension of my family, and I look forward to guiding this property to continued success."

In an interview, Keller said he is excited for the opportunity to take his career to the next level at Mark Twain Casino.

"This place is definitely going in the right direction," he said. "I've worked with some of the staff here in the past, and I'm familiar with the clientele."

He said patrons can expect to see "some positive changes" in the next 90 days.

"This is a neat little casino in a unique part of the country, and I'm very happy to get my opportunity to start here," he said.

Before he joined Affinity Gaming, Keller held a position in player development at Grand Falls Casino Resort and Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona, Iowa.

Mark Twain Casino has been operating in LaGrange since July 25, 2001. According to the Missouri Gaming Commission's 2017 annual report, the casino employs about 200 people and has 437 electronic gaming devices and 12 table games.

In January 2017, the Gaming Commission renewed the casino's gaming license for four more years.

Grace Entertainment initially opened Mark Twain Casino in 2001. Then after the death of owner William Grace, the casino was sold on Feb. 1, 2005, to Nevada-based Herbst Gaming Inc., an offshoot of the Terrible Herbst Oil Co. Herbst Gaming also acquired St. Jo Frontier Casino in St. Joseph at the same time.

In March 2009, Herbst Gaming filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Dec. 31, 2010, as Herbst Gaming LLC. The company subsequently changed its name to Affinity Gaming LLC in May 2011.

Affinity, headquartered in Las Vegas, operates 11 casinos. In addition to its two casinos in Missouri and the Lakeside Hotel and Casino in Iowa, it has five casinos in Nevada and three in Colorado.

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