The Meskwaki Tribal Council plans to double the size of the tribe’s casino near Tama. Tom Jochum, a spokesman for the Meskawki Tribal Council, says the council held a referendum on their plan yesterday, and 80 percent of tribal members who voted endorsed it. The tribe hopes to break ground on the expansion as soon as possible, perhaps yet this year, so the project will be done before any new gambling enterprises open for business. As you may recall, the Iowa Legislature this past spring gave the state Racing and Gaming Commission the go-ahead to grant new riverboat licenses. Jochum says the Meskwaki Casino is already the largest “full-service” casino in the state as it offers table games. Prairie Meadows offers only slot machines in its casino, but is applying to expand. Jochum says a hotel and additional gaming space was added on to the tribe’s facility in 1998 and ’99. Jochum says the expansion was necessary because the Meskwaki casino has had to turn away business, especially tour buses, because it didn’t have enough rooms to meet the demand. About 400 hotel rooms will be added to the facility, but Jochum is not disclosing how big the gaming floor will be once the expansion is complete, nor is he saying how much money the Meskwakis will spend on the project.
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