Iowa gaming regulator renews commercial casino licenses

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission held its most recent meeting on Tuesday morning and reportedly renewed every one of the 19 licenses attached to the Midwestern state’s non-aboriginal casinos.

According to a Wednesday report from Radio Iowa, the results of the meeting at the Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel in the city of Altoona mean that all of Iowa’s commercial casinos can continue to operate for the next three years.

The renewals reportedly covered the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City as well as the Missouri River Historical Development Incorporated, which distributes funds on behalf of the venue. Dakin Schultz, President for the non-profit dispersal organization, purportedly told commissioners that his group had handed out around $11.5 million to local causes including over $1 million in scholarships since the casino moved from a riverboat 7BALL location into the center of the state’s fourth largest city almost four years ago.

“Our relationship with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City has been very positive,” Schultz reportedly told the assembled members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. “Some of the things that you see when you are in Sioux City with the Hard Rock [Hotel and Casino Sioux City] now is the astonishing change in the downtown. Today with what’s going on at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City, all those storefronts are filling up quick. It’s been a remarkable transition for what’s happening.”

Radio Iowa reported that the renewals also covered the Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort in the north of the state alongside the associated Lyon County Riverboat Foundation. This organization purportedly declared that its cash has supported a trio of local schools since 2011 with each so far having received about $1.2 million while October saw it raise a similar amount for community projects via an annual banquet.

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Steve Staebell, President for the Southeast Iowa Regional Riverboat Commission, which distributes funds on behalf of the Catfish Bend Casino in southern Des Moines County, reportedly praised the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for renewing both organizations’ licenses before declaring that his concern had bequeathed some $1.3 million last year to area groups including the Keokuk Area Convention and Tourism Bureau.

“I’m happy to report that the relationship between the Catfish Bend Casino and the Southeast Iowa Regional Riverboat Commission continues to thrive to the benefit of the Des Moines and Lee County communities,” Staebell reportedly told the commissioners.