Davenport officials expect casino agreements next month


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Originally Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2013, 7:56 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 17, 2013, 11:25 pm
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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com

Davenport's city administrator on Thursday said he hopes to have all agreements in place next month for a land-based, city-owned casino.

Craig Malin said the city plans to take those agreements to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, possibly at its March 7 meeting in Johnston, Iowa, to secure its approval.

The city wants to buy Rhythm City Casino from Isle of Capri using $46 million in general obligation bonds. Three developers have submitted proposals for land-based casinos.

On Thursdsay, Mr. Malin updated the Davenport Community Improvement Corp. on the process. The DCIC board, which includes Mr. Malin, would oversee casino operations for the city.

Mr. Malin said the DCIC and the Riverboat Development Authority, which holds the gaming license, must agree on the casino's operations. The RDA's 12-member nonprofit board, which holds the casino license, has yet to approve any of Davenport's plans for a new casino.

RDA president Mary Ellen Chamberlin said the ideal situation is for the DCIC and RDA to go to the IRGC seeking an operator's license.Mr. Malin on Thursday acknowledged there are some philosophical differences among two RDA board members regarding "community" ownership of a land-based casino.

"We're still in the process of getting as much information to as many (RDA) board members as we can," Ms. Chamberlin said. "I also don't think, in my wildest dreams, it's (vote) going to be a unanimous decision."

She speculated three RDA members may vote against a gaming license agreement with the DCIC.

RDA treasurer Don Decker and RDA board member Chad Lewis have publicly expressed concerns about a city-owned casino, as well as a possible casino location in downtown Davenport. ContactedThursday, Mr. Decker said he opposes the city's plan because the financial risk is too great.

"I'm still looking for a 'no' vote to take the city out of this package," he said. "As long as the Isle of Capri has this silly $46 million locked in as a guarantee from the city, the Isle of Capri is not going to talk to anybody (potential casino developers).

"I'm asking members of the RDA, do you have the guts enough to vote 'yes' to put the citizens of Davenport at risk for any kind of a loss? Are you willing to do that?" Mr. Decker said. "At this point, I haven't seen nothing from the city that makes me feel any different."

Also on Thursday, Mr. Malin told DCIC members that Gary Buettner, a former chief financial officer of Jumer's Hotel and Casino, has been hired by the city to help a 17-member committee compare three casino proposals.


















 



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  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

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1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
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