It seems as though, all too often, we hear of stories relating to the problems that casinos might bring to the communities in which they reside. Whether folks are talking about increased gambling addiction, increased crime, or any of the other things commonly associated with the gambling industry, the tone is negative more often than it is not.
One Iowan casino is setting out to change the tone of the public by contributing positively to a community in which gambling used to be a major part. According to US News, a casino is going to work hand in hand with a city in Iowa to build a brand new park in the location where a riverboat casino once stood.
Bettendorf, Iowa, which is located on the Eastern side of the state along the banks of the Mississippi, is a little known casino destination, at least to those who are not from the US Midwest. With that being said, however, the cities location right on the border with Illinois has made Bettendorf one of Iowa’s best cities for casino-style gambling. Not only does it offer plenty of casino gaming opportunities for Iowan residents, the city is also easily accessed by residents of Western Illinois.
Recently, it was announced that Isle Casino Hotel will contribute over $1 million to turn the location of an old riverboat casino to a riverfront park. Though Isle Casino’s proposal asks the city to contribute $250,000, the overall proposal sees the casino contribute a majority of the money that will be needed to deconstruct the remaining structures from the old riverboat casino and ultimately turn the area into a park.
Right now, an artist’s rendering sees the casino park complete with running/walking paths, a playground, and piers that can and will be used for boating and fishing. This story is great because it seems that, all too often, the media is quick to point out the things casinos do wrong within the communities that host them. No matter what the specific situation is, it always seems as though casinos are looked at in a negative light.
What is happening in Bettendorf should serve as an example to the rest of the casino industry. Hopefully, in the future, we see more casinos contribute to the communities that they exist in. We do know that most gaming facilities contribute via tax dollars, but apart from that we do not hear all that much about the good things casinos do within the community. Perhaps if we saw more of this type of news story, casino gambling would not be looked at in such a negative way in certain parts of the world.