October 12, 2005

Ground was broken last Thursday for a $100 million Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino in Waterloo, Iowa. The project includes a 200-room hotel, three restaurants and 38,000 square feet of casino space. The casino, which will open in late spring 2007, is one of four currently under construction in Iowa. The others: the Diamond Jo Worth County Casino in Northwood (to open early next year with 100 hotel rooms and 3,000 square feet of meeting space); Wild Rose - Emmetsburg (to open next July with 70 hotel rooms and 6,000 square feet of meeting space); and Riverside Casino and Golf Resort (to open in late 2006 with 200 hotel rooms and four meeting rooms).

A special session of the Mississippi State Legislature ended on Oct. 7 with politicians stating that there will be no referendum on the November ballot to allow gaming anywhere that did not exist before Hurricane Katrina. However, governor Haley Barbour is due to sign a bill into law that allows existing casinos "to move 800 feet onto land."