Davenport finalizes casino deal

CasinoChips

City leaders signed off on a deal Tuesday night to bring a new, land-based casino to Davenport.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, aldermen unanimously approved a new, three-way development agreement between the City, developer Dan Kehl, and the Riverboat Development Authority.

Alderman at Large Gene Meeker called it “a night for celebrating,” as the deal brings to a close nearly five years of discussions over how to move Rhythm City Casino off the Mississippi River.

“When it’s all said and done, it’s a good night. Everybody came together when we needed to, and now I think it’s time to begin another phase, and that’s the phase of development and construction in Davenport,” said Meeker.

Tuesday’s vote came after Kehl announced Monday evening that he plans to donate $1 million to local charities over the next five years.

RDA President Mary Ellen Chamberlin also thanked the Council for its vote Tuesday night, and expressed her gratitude that despite “flaring tempers” they could work together to get the job done.

Both Chamberlin and Mayor Bill Gluba said they are confident that the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would give final approval to the plan in January. Groundbreaking ceremonies could then take place in the fall of 2014, and the new casino could open in fall of 2015.