Posted Online: Oct. 01, 2012, 10:17 pm

Davenport spends $99,000 to end agreement with casino developer

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By Stephen Elliott,

Davenport officials said Monday that spending up to $99,000 to end its agreement with a casino development company, early, is necessary in order for the city to move forward in its quest for a new casino.

On Friday the city announced it was cutting ties to Chicago-based developer MSEG Inc., with which it entered a casino development agreement in November 2010. No casino has resulted.

The city said in a news release issued on Friday afternoon the termination allows the city to pursue other land-based casino opportunities without further delay. Terminating the MSEG agreement was a necessary step to entering into an agreement for a land-based casino with any company other than MSEG, the city said.

"Based on the recommendation and advice of our city administrator (Craig Malin), we terminated the agreement," Mayor Bill Gluba said. "There's just a lot of things going on. We want to get this done. Time is money.

"The longer things drag, quite frankly, the less everybody benefits."

Davenport's Rhythm City Casino, owned by Isle of Capri, has been for sale. MSEG had an exclusive agreement with the city through November to put together a casino deal, preferably one that would move the Davenport gambling operation off the river and into a downtown location.

Mayor Gluba said although a casino developer was not found, MSEG did fulfill its obligation of trying to bring a land-based casino to the downtown. He said the city received a lot of good data from MSEG.

"The city had a mutual agreement where we would pay (MSEG) up to $100,000 if they held up their end of the bargain," Mayor Gluba said.

In the news release, Davenport City Administrator Craig Malin said, "MSEG worked diligently to fulfill its development obligations."

In September 2011, IOC told the gaming commission it was willing to talk with casino developers interested in taking over the Davenport casino operations.