Casinos Benefit Missouri
Casinos Benefit Missouri

Four Missouri students win scholarships from Missouri Gaming Association in 26th annual Project 21 competition


JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Four Missouri high school seniors have been selected to receive college scholarships through the 26th annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the statewide professional association of the Missouri casino industry. 

The Missouri Gaming Association awards one $2,500 scholarship and three $1,500 scholarships, which are jointly issued to the winners and the accredited institutions of higher education they select. 

The Project 21 Scholarship was developed to educate young people about the issues and dangers of underage gambling. The competition is open to all Missouri high school seniors planning to attend an institution of higher education in the United States within four years of graduation. 

In Missouri, it’s illegal for persons under the age of 21 to gamble in a casino. The students were asked to create an essay/article, poster or video aimed at educating their peers about the illegality and dangers of underage gambling. The entries were published or viewed in the students’ high schools in February or March, to help educate other students.

“We know that young people are influenced by their peers, so Project 21 encourages them to learn about the issues of underage gambling and share that information with their classmates,” said Mike Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association. 

The 2022 Project 21 winners are:

$2,500 Scholarship Winner
Blake Jesse of Eureka, MO
Eureka High School
College Attending – University of Kansas
Poster/Essay – Could You Be Participating In Underage Gambling?

$1,500 Scholarship Winners
2nd PlaceThomas McCauley of Wardsville, MO
Blair Oaks High School
College Attending – University of Missouri – Columbia
Essay/Poster – Forming An Educated Youth

3rd Place Tie
Eli Taulman of Windsor, MOWindsor High School
College Attending – University of Central Missouri
Poster/Essay – Think Gambling Is A Good Idea/Consequences of Underage Gambling

3rd Place Tie
Reno Hays of Bowling Green, MO
Bowling Green High School
College Attending – Jefferson College – Hillsboro
Article – Start Rambling, Stop Underage Gambling

The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry. Founded in 1994, the Missouri Gaming Association works to promote responsible gaming and increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. The MGA and its casino company members sponsor year-round responsible gaming programs including the 1-888-BETSOFF crisis line and referral service, Project 21 scholarship competition, and Responsible Gaming Awareness Week. For more information, visit

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