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A Casino Proposal For Franklin County

A portion of ground near the Interstate thirty-five east of Dows has emerged as the latest potential location for an Iowa casino facility. The new proposal for a gambling facility in Franklin County would be the closest competitor for a planned casino facility in Fort Dodge. If it is constructed, the casino facility would hire bout 400 individuals and majority of them would likely come from Wright County.

But the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has yet to decide if there will be any additional casino facilities. Members of the commission are expected to decide during their meeting on July 16th, 2009 in Altoona I they will accept applications for any new casino facility licenses. A spokesperson for Fort Dodge Gaming LLC, Steve Daniel, stated that the revised Franklin County casino proposal would not change the company's pans.

But if there is an opportunity to apply for new casino licenses, the closeness of the two locations would change the characteristics of the competition for a casino facility.

Daniel said that the closer they get to Fort Dodge, the more that will compete with them head on and will be an issue for them. Daniel added that Fort Dodge is prepared to place together the best possible casino project for their area and they expect Franklin County to do the same. Daniel stated that they are prepared to compete with anyone. The proposed casino location is 60 miles from Fort Dodge.

Ottumwa, where business leaders and community officials are also hoping to acquire a casino gaming license, is about one hundred eight miles from Fort Dodge. The Wild Rose Casino and Resort in Emmetsburg is seventy miles from Fort Dodge. Dows, which is located in Wright County, is the nearest location to the new casino location. A referendum on casino gaming has never take place in Wright County.

In Franklin County, voters passed gaming in a 2004 referendum. The casino facility in Franklin County was originally to be placed farther north near the boundary of Interstate 35 and Iowa Highway 3. The location was moved for two important reasons, according to Roger Burnett, who is a member of the company that would own the casino facility.

He stated that a change in the state gaming law means that the casino facility would not have to be on water. The location near Iowa Highway 3 included a lake. Burnett said that the previous location has been sold. Dennis Bowman, the county's economic development director said that a casino facility at the site near Dows would provide employment opportunities and the chance of constructing better housing in Wright County.

In 2005, the state regulators refused to issue a casino license for the planned Mineral City Hotel and Casino in the downtown area of Fort Dodge. Fort Dodge Gaming LLC is inclined to construct a casino facility near a highway rather than in the downtown area. A location has not yet been picked. The casino proposal calls for a casino facility, a hotel and an entertainment facility.


07/20/2009 21:43 PM


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