Davenport, Iowa To Purchase Riverboat Casino
City Will Sell Bonds To Pay For The $46 Million Purchase
The city of Davenport, Iowa is looking to gamble to get out of the hole. The city announced in mid-October that it will buy a riverboat casino.
The municipality wants to raise money for the $46 million purchase by selling bonds. The Rhythm City Casino, which has 931 slot machines, 14 table games, and a 209-seat buffet restaurant, is currently owned by Isle of Capri Casinos Inc.
“We have the opportunity to control our own gaming destiny, increase jobs and retain millions of dollars in the community each year. Gaming profits will no longer be going to New York, Chicago, or Las Vegas. Gaming profits will be staying in our community. This is a game changer for Davenport,” Mayor Bill Gluba said in a statement.
The town is $238 million in debt, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Davenport’s riverboat casino generates $50.5 million in gross revenue annually.
If successful, Davenport would join Dubuque, Iowa and Polk County, Iowa as casino owners.
The state of Kansas is another place in the country where casinos are state owned. Like Kansas, Davenport will have someone else run the casino operations. The city said that it will establish a non-profit manager for the riverboat casino.
According to Davenport’s website, decisions on what to do with the revenue after paying the bonds each year will be made by the City Council.
The city said the riverboat casino will move onto land no later than 2015. Additionally, Davenport is asking for proposals from developers for another land-based casino.
According to the American Gaming Association, Iowa currently has 18 commercial casinos, which take in about $1.4 billion per year collectively.
Davenport, located on the Mississippi river, has about 100,000 residents within the city limits. Its metropolitan area is about 380,000.
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., which currently has 15 gambling properties, mostly in the region, has been struggling financially in 2012.
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