Originally Posted Online: Jan. 02, 2013, 11:25 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 03, 2013, 9:05 am
Davenport casino will not be on Iowa gaming commission's Jan. 10 agenda
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By Stephen Elliott firstname.lastname@example.org
Davenport officials will not update the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission at its Jan. 10 meeting on the city's proposed purchase of the Rhythm City Casino from Isle of Capri.
The city wants to buy the casino for $46 million, then build a land-based, city-owned casino.
City officials attended the November meeting with the IRGC but were not asked to speak.
IRGC chairman Jeff Lamberti said Wednesday the commission removed the update from the agenda.
"In the original draft of the agenda, we had the item we have had on the agendas for several months, which was to get an update from the Isle on any potential sale," Mr. Lamberti wrote via email.
He said, because of pending matters with the city, the commission did not believe it was "necessary to have this on for the next meeting."
Davenport City Administrator Craig Malin said before Wednesday's committee-of-the-whole meeting the city is "still working through stuff" regarding the casino purchase.
Mayor Bill Gluba said he thought the city would be on the IRGC's Jan. 10 agenda but was not discouraged by its absence.
"Apparently, they (IRGC) didn't feel we were far enough along," Mayor Gluba said. "When we get down to substantive discussion after we have our plan pretty well hammered out, which we're still working on, then I'm sure the commission will ask us up to answer questions and thoroughly scrutinize our proposal.
"If we met now, they'd (IRGC) probably say go back and keep working on it and come see us next month."
After the January meeting, the IRGC next meets in March. The city tentatively planned to seek the commission's approval for the project at that time. Mr. Malin said in December that may not happen until April or May.
The city has received three proposals for a land-based casino. In addition to IRGC approval, the city needs approval from the Riverboat Development Authority, the nonprofit that holds Rhythm City Casino's gaming license.
When the project was announced in October, the city hoped to have a final RDA agreement in December. That has not come to pass after scrutiny by some of the RDA's board members. A vote has not been taken yet by the RDA board.
RDA President Mary Ellen Chamberlin said Wednesday a meeting date has not been set.
Mayor Gluba said Mr. Malin may attend the IRGC's Jan. 10 meeting in Altoona just to observe.