The Mayor of Davenport raised some concerns to the Racing and Gaming Commission Thursday about the developer chosen by the no-profit group to purchase the riverboat casino and move it onto land. The Riverboat Development Authority in Davenport chose Dan Kehl to develop the land-based casino in Davenport even though the city wanted a different developer.
Mayor Bill Gluba told the commission the city has been losing millions of dollars because not enough has been done to keep the casino competitive with an Illinois casino right across the river.
“Regardless of who we chose, we believe we share the same goal: to maximize the value of the gaming license to the State of Iowa, to the people of Davenport, to the broader community and to the local nonprofits. Our goal, as is yours, is to maximize the value of any gaming license in the state, especially to the benefit of the people,” Gluba said.
He said the city is concerned that Kehl may not provide the maximum use of the Davenport casino because of his ownership of the Riverside casino. “Before the city begins to negotiate in earnest with Kehl, we would like some guidance form the commission as to whether you are concerned about permitting a casino operator who already operates a casino in southeast Iowa to establish yet another casino within the same area of the state,” Gluba said.
He said the concern is due in part to Kehl’s attempts to help defeat a gambling referendum in Linnn County so a casino could not be built there to compete with Riverside. Commission chair Jeff Lamberti said it was his personal opinion that there would be no concern with Kehl developing the Davenport casino.
None of the other commission members expressed any concern about the issue.