CB Casino Wants To Move On Land

CB Casino Wants To Move On Land

By Jake Wasikowski. CREATED Oct 18, 2012

A Council Bluffs casino riverboat may be sailing away for good.  Harrah's hopes to move its casino to land.


Officials with Harrah's want to move on land because the 18-year-old boat is expensive to operate, and last year's flood upped those costs.  Senior VP Bo Guidry says moving the casino floor to the current convention area will save $2-3 million a year.  Harrah’s says they have to run the riverboat’s engine, spend about $500,000 on drudging, and insurance for the boat after the flooding costs around $60,000 a month.


Harrah's will add 600 slot machines and 20 gaming tables to the new area.


"Well the good thing about this is that the structure is already built, and so it will be about an $8-12 million dollar project that I think we'll be very happy and our customers will really love."  Guidry explained.  "It's a no brainer to move it to land based."


In 2004 the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved land based gambling.


Caesars Entertainment, which runs Harrah's, took over the Mid America Center in July.  Guidry says the MAC was losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for 7-8 years.  Now, the casino move will push all Harrah's current and future convention activity to the MAC.


"It will help us minimize our losses and keep the opportunity for events to go on there just like they should.  So this will be a good opportunity for us," said Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan.


They're waiting for the approval of the Harrah's Board, and the IRGC.  After that, they'll start construction in January and hope to open during the summer.