Davenport unveils $46 million deal to buy Rhythm City Casino

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The time-consuming and contentious process to replace Rhythm City Casino seems to be over. That's as Davenport plans to use city-issued bonds to cover the $46 million purchase price.

"The money, these profits, will stay here in Davenport to benefit the people of our area," said Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba.

While Rhythm City employees keep their jobs, the deal promises to create a better revenue stream for Davenport. City leaders plan to follow a successful model already in place in Dubuque and Polk County.

Instead of profits flowing out of town, they'll stay close to home.

"We'll have one thing that we're going to focus on," said Ald. Jay Justin. "We can make it the best that we possibly can. I think it will be a real asset for Davenport."

The proposal, which has many hurdles yet to clear, will also accomplish one of Davenport's long-term goals of getting the aging floating casino off the riverfront. That could actually happen by 2015.

It will also step up the effort to develop a land-based casino in Davenport. And it could mean big changes for the downtown by adding an entertainment destination to the new businesses and residents.

Click this link to read the Proposed Purchase Terms for Davenport to buy Rhythm City Casino

"That's what we're looking for with a downtown type of casino," said Ald. Bill Boom. "Anybody can build them on the interstate, but to have something in the heart of the city, I think, is exciting."

Davenport took the initiative after private investors backed away from a deal. Profit margins and credit terms just weren't attractive.

The long journey to land a private developer led aldermen back to their front porch.

"We found that there were not a lot of casinos or investment interest in building a casino in Davenport," said Ald. Gene Meeker.

For the city, rolling the dice without using or hiking property taxes.

Aldermen are expected to vote on the deal during their meeting on October 24.

"This is a game changer for the people of Davenport," concluded Mayor Gluba.

City leaders hope that it's a game changer one step closer to a jackpot.