ALTOONA, Iowa - The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is allowing the Isle of Capri's Rhythm City Casino in Davenport to renegotiate payments to its nonprofit license holder if the state bans smoking in casinos.
Mary Ellen Chamberlin, president and CEO of Riverboat Development Authority, said if Iowa were to change its law that allows smoking on casino floors, the authority would stand to lose "a great deal" of money.
She cited figures showing revenues falling dramatically when smoking was banned at other casinos around the country.
The authority is the nonprofit entity that holds the gaming license for the casino, receiving 4.1 percent of the casino's gross receipts with a $2 million per year guarantee.
Under the contract changes approved by the commission Thursday, those terms could be renegotiated if Iowa's smoking ban is extended to casinos.
"Obviously, the company wants a way to discuss that with us at some point in time should that happen in Iowa," Chamberlin said.
Commission chairman Greg Seyfer called the contract approval a realistic approach.
"Clearly, the commission felt it was a reasonable and appropriate amendment," Seyfer said.