slot machines

A player operates a slot machine aboard the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport in this file photo.

Davenport’s due diligence costs from its attempted acquisition of the Rhythm City casino are expected to total near $600,000.

The city has paid $150,046.31 and is processing a $387,500 bill for accounting services, bringing the total to $537,546.31. Interim finance director Brandon Wright expects a few other bills to eventually bring the total to nearly $600,000.

Data generated through the due diligence process is expected to be applied to any land-based casino project presented to the city during the current search process to determine the financial impact on the city. The Riverboat Development Authority decided earlier this month that it would lead the process of finding a possible operator for a land-based casino.

Funding for the due diligence is paid for with capital improvement funds, Wright said. How it would affect other capital projects hasn’t been determined because future gaming revenue could be involved.

“We’ll wait a little bit to see what happens,” he said.

When the Quad-City Times asked for the name of the accounting firm that billed the city $387,500, Wright declined to identify the firm other than it was one of the “big four.” Those are generally identified as Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.

The accounting company had demanded confidentiality as a condition of doing the work, which is a standard practice in projects such as this, city attorney Tom Warner said. If someone wanted to push the issue, the city would have to alert the company and give it the opportunity to get a court order to prohibit disclosure.

Costs already billed are $77,413.95 to Ahlers and Cooney of Des Moines for attorney fees, $49,627.29 to Public Financial Services for financial consulting, $21,341.20 for gaming consultant Gary Buettner, $1,165.12 for travel and $498.75 for lunches.

Editor's note: On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, the city identified the accounting firm as Deloitte and Touche after getting permission from the company to do so. The company’s bill will eventually appear among a list of city bill payments.