The state’s top gambling regulator says it might be appropriate for legislators to review a plan that would have the City of Davenport running a casino.
The city is in the process of buying the “Rhythm City” casino for $46 million, with plans to partner with a developer to build a new land-based casino in Davenport. Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission chairman Jeff Lamberti says regulators are “watching all of those developments closely” because it would be a “significant” change in policy.
“We do have a couple of casinos where a local government is the owner or the landlord. This would be a shift because, at least for a period of time, the effective operator will be controlled by the City of Davenport,” Lamberti says. “I’m kind of reserving judgment until I see what they actually propose to us, but I do struggle at time as to whether that should be a decision for the legislature and the governor, as opposed to the Racing and Gaming Commission, about whether we want local governments in the business of operating a casino.”
Three companies hoping to build a new casino in Davenport have submitted proposals to city officials in Davenport. A Davenport city alderman, the city administrator and the city’s police chief are three of the seven members of a board that has been created by the Davenport City Council to oversee casino operations.
Lamberti made his comments Friday during taping of the “Iowa Press” program which will air on Iowa Public Television on December 28 at 7:30 p.m.