When Marty and Wendy Byrde first move to the Missouri Ozarks in ‘Ozark’ season 1, they struggle to find businesses big enough to launder cartel money without raising suspicion. That all changes once their casinos come into the picture, and by season 3, Marty and Wendy are the face and proud shareholders of two casinos — the Missouri Belle and The Big Muddy. A lot of action goes down in these two joints, especially the former, which becomes the site of a massive FBI forensic accounting investigation. Ever wondered whether the casinos in ‘Ozark’ are real? We’ve got the story!
Are Missouri Belle and The Big Muddy Real Casinos?
No, Wendy and Marty Byrde’s shady casinos funded by drug cartel money are, as you might have guessed, not real. Any criminal activities depicted on the show aside, the Missouri Belle and The Big Muddy casinos are also not actual casinos, though the boats used to depict them are very real. In fact, The Big Muddy Casino is actually depicted using the gorgeous Georgia Queen river cruise boat, which is famous for its dinner cruises on the Savannah River.
For the show’s filming, the Georgia Queen was moored in front of Joe’s Crab Shack at 504 East River Street in Savannah, Georgia. Due to its already gorgeous facade, the real-life boat was only marginally altered to make it look like a floating casino.
Meanwhile, the boat used to depict the Missouri Belle casino dwells all the way in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia. The waterside building, which forms part of the Missouri Belle casino on the show, is real enough and can be found at 1000 Robert E Lee Boulevard in Stone Mountain. The structure seemingly houses the Atlanta Adventure Tours company.
The interiors of the fictional casinos are reconstructed on soundstages at the Eagle Rock Studios Atlanta, which can be found at 6205 Best Friend Road in the city of Norcross in Gwinnett County, Georgia. This is understandable, considering the lengthy sequences that play out inside the Missouri Belle.
Interestingly, the most authentic aspect of the casinos in ‘Ozark’ could be the matter of the casino licenses, which is explored in season 2. With their sights set on opening a casino to greatly boost their money-laundering business, the first hurdle for the Byrdes to cross is raising the number of casino licenses given out in Missouri from thirteen to fourteen. As of writing this article, the total number of casino licenses in Missouri is actually limited to thirteen.
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