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Davenport takes next step in $46 million casino deal

Davenport’s $46 million dollar offer to buy Rhythm City Casino continues to move forward. That’s the word from Thursday’s meeting with Iowa gaming officials.

“The city of Davenport has expressed a strong interest in purchasing Rhythm City,” said Michael Fries, vice president of Isle of Capri.

Inside the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission meeting, Davenport officials get the message they want to hear during the session in Johnston, Iowa.

“The city has been doing what it needs to do to position itself to make this acquisition,” Fries continued. “We have tendered a purchase agreement to the city.”

That means the $46-million dollar deal to buy the casino is one step closer to reality. It could be finalized early next year.

“What they wanted to make sure was that the city was working cooperatively and in a productive manner with Isle of Capri,” said Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba. “And we were, in fact, doing that.”

Those details will help to clear the way for Davenport’s deal. It’s the next step in a long process towards developing a land-based casino in the city.

As Davenport works to get the casino off the water, it’s also developing a community board that will run the operation.

“We’re creating a totally new model in Davenport that has not existed prior to this deal,” said Mary Ellen Chamberlin, Riverboat Development Authority.

And there’s already business interest in this new era of gaming. Nearly a dozen developers are exploring the possibilities.

“We’re not going to come out and say it’s going to be downtown or any other location until we see what comes forward,” said Ald. Bill Boom. “We asked for creativity, and I think we’re going to get it.”

A positive push from the city for its casino as it moves forward.

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