Private Davenport Casino Solution Proposed - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Private Davenport Casino Solution Proposed


A new casino proposal has been submitted to the RDA by Rodney Blackwell, a local developer.

Blackwell has met with City officials and together, they have restructured the proposed I-80 casino project to be privately owned.

According to a release from the city of Davenport, "The revised plan includes a privately owned casino and hotel to be constructed on Interstate 80 by the Davenport Casino Group (DCG), headed by Mr. Blackwell. Mr. Blackwell has submitted the plan to the Riverboat Development Authority for review."

The development agreement will include a City investment of $33 million for land, infrastructure and buildings.

"The City and Mr. Blackwell have restructured the proposal, with the casino now privately owned," Mayor Bill Gluba said in the release. "This plan maximizes the value of the gaming license, and increases annual revenue to the City, RDA, Davenport School District and Scott County by nearly $14 million"

Gluba noted that the City's revenue will increase by over $10 million per year, allowing the City to reduce its property tax rate.

The privately owned casino is projected to nearly double the RDA's current revenue, from $2 million in the current year, to $3.9 million after the new casino opens. The landbased casino will pay property taxes, and is expected to generate $876,000 annually to Scott County and more than $1.1 million a year to the Davenport Community School District. The current riverboat casino pays no property taxes to Scott County, the School District or the City.

Local developer Rodney Blackwell heads the Davenport Casino Group, and, together with Ingenus, was the unanimous choice of the Davenport City Council in response to the open request for proposals the City issued in late 2012.

"This is not the outcome we envisioned when we submitted the proposal to the City in December, but it addresses concerns regarding public ownership of the casino. Under our revised proposal, the private sector owns and operates the casino while the RDA, City, Davenport School District and Scott County receive nearly $14 million more a year than they receive now. Plus, the State of Iowa gets the I-80 casino it wants," Blackwell said in the release.

In March, the RDA announced they would seek alternatives to the casino plan developed by the City, following the City's open request for proposals. The privately owned casino project is pending RDA review.