Riverboats Casino Cruise on Shallow Water - Tuesday 27th of June 2006

IOWA – As reported by the Des Moines Register: "Iowa's new riverboat casinos have plenty of glitz and gambling, but they don't have any rivers.

"Neither the Diamond Jo Worth Casino on Interstate Highway 35 near the Minnesota border nor the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg is cruising on a navigable body of water. Yet both are still legally considered 'excursion gambling boats.'

"To comply with state regulations, the $40 million Diamond Jo Worth Casino, which opened in April, was constructed over an artificial basin of water that is practically invisible to gamblers except for a wooden paddlewheel in a small pool near the entrance.

"…The Wild Rose Casino complex, which cost $38 million and opened in late May, has a 12.5-acre lake. The casino floor extends over water that will normally be 4 to 6 feet deep, said spokeswoman Jamie Buelt.

"…Other new riverboat casinos planned in Riverside, Waterloo, Burlington and Clinton also will essentially be land-based facilities built with water underneath them, said Jack Ketterer, administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

"…Although Iowa has 10 gambling boats located on navigable bodies of water, the Mississippi Belle II in Clinton is the only one that still regularly offers cruises.

"…Until 2004, Iowa's casino vessels were required to cruise 100 times annually, but often there were only a handful of patrons aboard for the two-hour trips, Ketterer said…"

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