Racing And Gaming Commission Meets At Wild Rose
Members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission paid a visit to the Wild Rose Casino and Resort for the June meeting on Thursday, June 5. The commissioners handled several routine agenda items during their meeting in the Wild Rose ballroom. The commissioners include Toni Urban, Kate Cutler, Greg Seyfer and Chair Diane Hamilton, along with Commission Director Jack Ketterer.
Tom Timmons, Operations Manager of Wild Rose Resorts, gave the official welcome to the commissioners to start the meeting, and then introduced Emmetsburg Mayor John Schad for a welcome from the city of Emmetsburg and Palo Alto County.
“I’m particularly happy to welcome you commission members to Emmetsburg,” Schad began, “because you people have probably done more for our community than anyone else ever has. By awarding a casino license to Wild Rose, we’ve seen some 2 million dollars a month flowing into this town and the county, and in two years our non-profit has distributed some two a half million dollars to deserving organizations around the area.”
The mayor continued, “In addition, the city of Emmetsburg has received over 800 thousand dollars, either directly from the casino or through the non-profit that has enriched our city, improved our industrial development efforts, helped finance a new business park, boosted the value of our real estate. Emmetsburg is on the fast track for Iowa cities now, a thriving, growing community where before we were in many ways, a forgotten, backwater town.”
Schad added another thought. “As mayor of Emmetsburg, I want to thank everybody who made this wonderful thing happen. You people have made an enormous difference in our lives in the city of Emmetsburg – indeed, all of Palo Alto County is deeply grateful. What we have here now is people who have jobs, people who can proudly hold their heads up, people who look forward to a vibrant future that’s full of promise. Enjoy your visit today to the new, revitalized, upbeat community that you all helped create. We are all deeply in your debt.”
The commissioners then worked their way through an agenda of routine contract approvals for the various casino operations throughout the state. Among the approvals was for the Wild Rose in Emmetsburg to enter into four contracts with various vendors to replace a total of 24 slot machines. Additionally, the Wild Rose – Mississippi Belle II operation at Clinton also received approvals for contracts to purchase 40 new slot machines, as well as a poker game, a new telephone/voice mail systems and mirrors and artwork for the new casino in Clinton.
“We had originally planned a soft opening on June 20, but we are going to move that back one week to June 27,” Timmons told the commissioners. “Our plans are now to dock the boat on June 23 and begin moving the machines into the casino that week. We plan to hold our official Grand Opening on July 18 and 19.”
The commissioners also concluded a hearing regarding a violation of Iowa’s gaming laws involving the Diamond Jo Worth Casino in Northwood. Commission Director Jack Ketterer reviewed the facts of the violation with the commissioners.
“The incident involves an underage female who went through the turnstiles and did not have her ID checked, and ended up being on the gaming floor for over an hour and played several slot machines,” Ketterer related. “The violation met the criteria to be brought before the commission for action. The Diamond Jo Worth acknowledges the incident, and has agreed to an administrative penalty of $20,000.”
The Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the penalty and in a final item of business, announced that requests for proposals for study on additional casino markets would start being accepted soon, with a deadline of August 15, a final report on the requests will be presented on July 1 of 2009.
In closing, Commission Chair Diane Hamilton of Storm Lake thanked the Wild Rose and community for its hospitality. “This was a wonderful opportunity to come to Emmetsburg and see the casino and drive around town and see what a great town Emmetsburg is.”