A citizens group has formed to counteract the campaign of a developer who’s touting a new casino for central Iowa. Joe Shanahan is a spokesman for the opponents of Gary Kirke and his Wild Rose development company. The group’s chosen the acronym BOND, for “Bail Out? No Dice!” Shanahan says they organized to oppose Kirke’s proposal to build a “mega-casino” in Polk, Dallas and/or Warren County. Local voters will be asked if they approve, and Shanahan says the group wants to see that those voters have all the facts. Shanahan cites a study on the website of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that concluded the potential for revenue growth in all gambling expansion in the state would be around 266-Million dollars. He says the profit envisioned by Polk County developer Gary Kirke and the Isle of Capri company is 300-million for one casino in central Iowa. He says the numbers don’t add up and thus “The devil is in the details.” Shanahan says the group doesn’t deny that Kirke’s partner in managing the casino, the “Isle of Capri,” already runs successful casinos in Bettendorf and Marquette. Shanahan says the BOND group doesn’t think there’s enough potential revenue in central Iowa to run a new casino, saying “If people like to gamble, there’s plenty of opportunities,” but there’s not enough money to put a casino in every county in the state. Voters in Dallas, Madison and Warren counties will decide November 2nd whether they want a casino in their communities. The final decision, though, rests with state regulators.
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