A month after receiving a trio of casino proposals, the Davenport City Council narrowed its focus to one Wednesday night, with its primary site on the city’s interstate corridor.

Aldermen voted 10-0 during a special meeting to enter into negotiations with Ingenus Management and Consulting of Brainard, Minn., and Financial District Properties, a Quad-City company headed by developer Rodney Blackwell, on its interstate casino proposal, which includes a satellite boutique casino downtown.

Ken Mimmack, president of Ingenus, was pleased with the council’s decision.

“This was important,” he said. “This is a first step. We look forward to sitting down with the committee and hearing their thoughts.”

The council’s move is a step forward in the process of acquiring the Rhythm City Casino for at least $46 million and bringing it on land.

The next step is approval of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. But the city likely won’t get an application to the commission for consideration in March, Mayor Bill Gluba said. More likely, the city would request an opportunity to update the commission in March, with an application in May or June.

“We’ve got 29 very independent-thinking, competent local citizens who want to do their due diligence,” Gluba said. “When you have some independent thinkers, it takes time.”

The motion approved by the council provides several directions beyond negotiation:

n Determine whether an existing downtown property owner could deliver a satellite “gaming parlor” — about 10 percent of the interstate casino project — more cost-effectively than Ingenus.

n Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of multiple Interstate 80 locations.

n Revise the interstate casino design.

It also directed the Davenport Community Improvement Corp. to conduct due diligence of the Ingenus management team and review management and operator options.

Also, the council’s negotiating team is to solicit competitive financing with local banks as a potential source of capital in part or wholly, in lieu of issuing bonds.

While the council moved away from the Restoration St. Louis proposal for a downtown casino, it hasn’t been completely taken off the table.

Restoration St. Louis officials met with city officials earlier Wednesday and agreed to a backup role as negotiations proceed with Ingenus. The company may still be involved in downtown gaming, Alderman Bill Boom, 3rd Ward, said.

“The commitment to the downtown is still there, and we will work with them on the development that may or may not include a boutique casino,” Boom said. He represents the ward that includes downtown.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would have to approve the two-location concept.

A third proposal, from Atrium Properties to put a casino in the Radisson Quad-City Plaza on 2nd Street was removed for contention earlier in the month.

Steve Flogel, the business representative for Carpenters Local 4, expressed frustration with the process, suggesting that the city council, RDA and community improvement board meet jointly to make better progress.

“It doesn’t seem like anything is moving forward,” he said.

Two other meetings earlier in the day also dealt with casino issues:

• The Davenport Community Improvement Corp. voted to delay approval of an operating agreement with the Riverboat Development Authority for no more than seven days as certain language in it is revised. The nonprofit corporation will oversee casino operations once the city acquires the Rhythm City Casino from Isle of Capri.

• The RDA also met Wednesday to quiz the city’s casino consultant on the development proposals, but took no action on whether to approve the agreement. An RDA vote may not occur until a casino management team is identified by the community improvement group.

Many people still are getting up to speed on the city’s casino proposal, community improvement group board chairwoman Kelli Grubbs said. Her board seated two new people at a meeting Monday when the operating agreement with the RDA was to be approved. An attorney review was requested, prompting a one-week delay that was approved Wednesday.

“You want to do things the right way at the beginning so you don’t have problems down the line,” Grubbs said after her board’s meeting. “We want to do good business from the start.”

(21) comments


Blackwell can't even afford to hoist a U.S. flag on his properties. What a shame. Wells Fargo building in downtown Davenport with an empty pole. Same for the Union Arcade Building. C'mon Man, maybe get your kids to climb up there for you. Show some respect for those who live and die for this Country.


Abusenitrous55 - I didn't vote for anyone of these clowns and that's why I said that there ought to be a recall vote to get them out of the position that allows them to waste tax payers hard earned money.


Perhaps you should put as much effort into electing a credible person next time as you plan to invest removing what you believe to be an 'incompetent' one now and save us all some time and effort.


How does that old saying go?.....Too many cooks in the kitchen?


At the end of the bar the conversation goes like this: We can have our cake and eat it too. We'll split the Igenus proposal. Take the highway deal and give downtown to the Gils. Laugh,laugh We can salvage this. Misdirect the public by giving them the highway and keep the all ready behind closed doors negotiated deal with the Gils. No one will ever catch on. Heck, the paper will print whatever we say and never actually ask us a question. Laugh laugh.


I think you have hit the nail on the head!


Just a "hop, skip and a jump" from the Flying J and that other attraction, Daisy something or other. Now I see the logic!


They can put in a walking/bike trail to connect them all....for those health conscious truck driver/gamblers...

Voice of Truth

This project is set to be a financial disaster and to bankrupt the City Government of Davenport. Davenports downgrade in credit ratings is just the first of many failures of this risky casino venture. Everyone providing "advice" to the city council brain trust regarding this project has a financial interest in moving this project along and because of those biases, their contributions to the plan are tainted. It appears the insiders are running the show using public money for their own interests. If that is not the case...why not place it on a referendum for a vote by the people. If it is so clear that this is a good deal, a no brainer as many on the council have said...then let the people vote.

Also, there are too many ways the people who are pushing this forward can shead responsibility when this goes bad. More PERSONAL responsibility should be taken by those who think spending $50M of tax payer money on a casino makes sense.

Another prediction - $50M will be a drop in the bucket for the cost of this project. This will turn into a $100M project in a flash once it is built and the Revenue projections dont work out...the City will be moving funds from the general fund and water funds to pay for this...wait and see.


I agree 100%. All these plans being made with money that will be borrowed with the taxpayers on the hook, yet city counsel will not allow the voters to vote on a simple question....Do the citizens of Davenport wish to OWN a casino business? Scott County voters were required to vote on the question of allowing gambling in Scott County. So why should this situation be any different? Oh wait....that was the State of Iowa Legislature that required Scott County to vote....this is Davenport City Council that does not wish to allow a simple question to be answered by the voters of Davenport. This is a sad time for democracy.


"Developer Rodney Blackwell owes Rock Island County at least 103-thousand dollars. His biggest late bill comes from the American Bank and Trust building in downtown Rock Island. Blackwell helped finance the new Kone building."

Above from....

Voice of Truth

TOBT. Wow, thanks for the information. Why in the world would the City Council vote 10-0 to proceed with "negotiations" when a key player in the deal owes $103K to Rock Island County on two other projects. How does that make sense? Why in the world isn's someone asking these questions? Are we really going to do business with a company who owes RI County over $100K in back taxes? What does that say about the person, the company, the likelyhood that the City will be in the same boat...so to speak.... Unbelieveable.


Littledog and KAQ, stop voting these guys back in if you are upset. I see all these posts over the years how everyone hates this council, yet they keep getting voted back in. Vote them out. I think there is an election coming up this year.

Tyler Guth

Since blacks have extremely disproportionate rates of problem gambling addiction, I actually borderline agree with your rant. You all should have some say into how your community is going to be financially exploited.


Ok, i wanna know how come no black people are on this board? I guess we don't count in this community. One day I hope black people take action and soon. Sick of seeing 40% of those arrested in Scott county being black, when the population of blacks in Iowa is less than 2%. One day it won't be we shall overcome, it will be we are going to take a portion of whats being given out. I wish black people would stand up and stop accepting this B.S.


Yes you're right. All of us white people had a secret meeting to make sure no black people were on the board. Next weeks meeting is to see how we can keep locking black kids in jail. Get out of here Jesse Jackson. I'm sure every black man in prison is 100% innocent.


Because liberal Democrats get the black vote regardless of results.....Gluba doesn't even plow the streets south of Locust, why would he care about your crime and lack of representation on the board complaints? So keep on voting for Democrats and keep on complaining because the cycle isn't going to change anytime soon.


I think that there ought to be a racall vote on Gluba and every other council memeber that's in favor of this proposal. This should never be contniued without being placed on a referendum and voted on by the public. The taxpayers are the ones who are going to ultimately foot the bill for this in the end and they haven't been given the option of saying yes or no. Gluba and Matlin are totally out of line on this.


Are you sure Gaming wasn't on the ballot already? Davenport Municipal Code says gaming only permitted in accordance with Iowa Code 99B, 99D or 99F.
Iowa Code 99F.7/11 requires a ballot referendum. See below.

F. A licensee shall not permit any gambling, except in accordance with Iowa Code chapters 99B, 99D or 99F,

Iowa Code 99F

99F.7 Licenses — terms and conditions — revocation.

1. If the commission is satisfied that this chapter and its rules adopted under this chapter applicable to licensees have been or will be complied with, the commission shall issue a license for a period of not more than three years to an applicant to own a gambling game operation, to an applicant to operate a gambling structure, and to an applicant to operate an excursion gambling boat. The commission shall decide which of the gambling games authorized under this chapter the commission will permit.


99F.7/11. a. A license to conduct gambling games in a county shall be issued only if the county electorate approves the conduct of the gambling games as provided in this subsection. The board of supervisors, upon receipt of a valid petition meeting the requirements of section 331.306, and subject to the requirements of paragraph “e”, shall direct the commissioner of elections to submit to the registered voters of the county a proposition to approve or disapprove the conduct of gambling games in the county. The proposition shall be submitted at an election held on a date specified in section 39.2, subsection 4, paragraph “a”. To be submitted at a general election, the petition must be received by the board of supervisors at least five working days before the last day for candidates for county offices to file nomination papers for the general election pursuant to section 44.4.


KAQ: I thought my previous post would have been entered as a reply under your comment. Also, all formatting was lost. Sorry about both, but hope it was clear enough to be of some help. Good luck. ------ _______



Read page 11 of the DCIC Bi Laws on the City of Davenport Web site, Not enough people left to vote after you remove those, who according to the Bi Laws, can't vote. What an absolute scam.

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