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Analyst Says Council Bluffs, Sioux City Casinos Will Survive New Gambling In Nebraska

Western Iowa — An expert who studied the Iowa gambling market says the state-licensed casinos in Council Bluffs and Sioux City are going to feel a big impact as Nebraska’s casinos ramp up — but says they will weather the storm.

Matt Rowe of Spectrum Gaming Group says there will be some adjustments.


He says the Iowa casinos have some advantages in resources.


He says they can offer promotions for their properties outside of Iowa while the Nebraska casinos don’t have as many options.


He says the same thing applies in Sioux City, which is a Hard Rock casino. The Council Bluffs market is currently Iowa’s largest in terms of revenue. Projections are that the Council Bluffs casinos could lose 45 percent of their market to new Nebraska competition. The report estimates Sioux City’s Hard Rock casino could see a loss of 50 million dollars in adjusted gross revenue.

The company that owns the Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort near Larchwood is one of the companies planning new casinos in Nebraska. Elite Casino Resorts is planning a casino at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. In addition to the casino near Larchwood, Elite already has the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort south of Iowa City and Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport. Fonner Park at Grand Island is approximately 150 miles east of Omaha. The Grand Island Elite casino is planned to open with 650 slots, 20 table games, a sportsbook, and a show lounge. A hotel, spa, fine dining, and more are planned. Officials say it will employ well over 300 people.

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