Iowa Gaming Board Asked To Stop Casino

The nonprofit license-holder to the Isle Casino in Waterloo, Iowa, will ask the Iowa Racing and Gaming Board to block the proposed Cedar Crossing Casino in Cedar Rapids. A report indicated Cedar Crossing would cannibalize Isle by $11 million in annual revenues, limiting Black Hawk County Gaming Association's grant-distribution funds.

Black Hawk County Gaming Association, the nonprofit partner and holder of the gaming license to the Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, Iowa, plans to ask the Iowa Gaming and Racing Commission to stop a proposed casino in downtown Cedar Rapids. BHCGA Chairman Tim Hurley said the proposed 0 million Cedar Crossing casino complex would take away 17 percent, or million, of Isle’s annual revenues, according to a recently released study commissioned by Riverside Casino by the New Orleans-based Innovation Group. However, another study by TMG Consulting, commissioned by Cedar Crossing , showed Isle would have a 4.7 percent, or million, reduction in annual revenue.

Hurley said BHCGA needs to stress that it receives 5.75 percent of the casino’s gross receipts to distribute via grants to nonprofit and public projects each quarter. Less casino revenue would impact the amount of grant money available. “We need to hammer that. A lot of good things have been done, and there are a lot of good things yet to be done,” Hurley said.

The Innovation Group study indicated the Cedar Crossing Casino would take a total of $62 million annually from state-regulated casinos in eastern Iowa. Riverside Casino and Golf Resort would lose $28 million annually and other Iowa casinos would lose money annually as follows: $6 million in Davenport; $5 million in Bettendorf; $2 million in Clinton; $6 million in Dubuque; and $10.5 in Tama at the Meskwaki tribal casino.

The IRGC has commissioned its own independent research on the state’s gambling market. It will announce its decision on the Cedar Rapids license on April 17.

Also in Iowa, the Rhythm City riverboat in Davenport was temporarily closed as Scott County Casino LLC completed its $51 million purchase of the Isle of Capri property. The casino’s computer system, player reward system and slot machine accounting systems were switched to Scott County Casino’s during the closure, in preparation for the reopening and ribbon-cutting on Friday, February 7.

Scott County Casino CEO Dan Kehl plans to build a $110 million casino complex near Interstate 80 in Davenport and eventually close Rhythm City. He said the transaction went through without any problems.  Eight attorneys were involved in the final deal. “For the size of the transaction, it went amazingly smooth,” he said.

Kehl announced Mo Hyder would return as general manager; he held that position at Rhythm City until one year ago when he took a position at a casino in Louisiana.

Isle of Capri spokeswoman Jill Alexander said the Isle is continuing to review options for its casino property in Bettendorf.