History

How gaming came to the Cedar Valley

The Black Hawk County Gaming Association didn’t just appear overnight. It took the planning, preparation and petitioning of several dedicated citizens to make it happen. Here are a few highlights from that journey:

January, 2003:  Bob Fulton, Jim Lind and Don Hoth started a petition drive to hold a referendum in Black Hawk County to approve an excursion gaming boat to be located in Black Hawk County.

May, 2003:  Bob Fulton, Jim Lind and Don Hoth founded Black Hawk County Gaming Association to be the non-profit license holder of a gaming license.  Also, a search was begun to select an operating partner.

August, 2003:  Isle of Capri, Inc. was selected as the operating partner license holder with Black Hawk County Gaming Association.

October, 2003:  Black Hawk County voters approved a referendum by a 66.3% majority to have an excursion boat gaming facility in Black Hawk County.

December, 2003: Black Hawk County Gaming Association asked the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission to lift a moratorium against further gaming facilities in Iowa.  The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission declined to lift the moratorium without further direction from the state legislature.

May, 2004:  After Black Hawk County Gaming Association lobbied the state legislature for five months, the legislature adopted new laws regulating gaming in Iowa.

June, 2004:  Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission established November 10, 2004 as date for new riverboat gambling facilities to be filed with the commission pending the commission lifting the moratorium.

September, 2004:  Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission lifted the moratorium against further expansion of gaming in Iowa.

November, 2004:  Black Hawk County Gaming Association and Isle of Capri, Inc. filed an application for a gaming license to be located on property at the confluence of Interstate 380, Highway 20 and Highway 218.

March, 2005:  Black Hawk County Gaming Association and Isle of Capri, Inc. made a 45-minute presentation to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission on the application for a gaming license.

April, 2005:  The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission visited the proposed site for a new gaming facility in Black Hawk County.  Black Hawk County Gaming Association and Isle of Capri, Inc. made further presentations to the commission.

May, 2005:  The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission conducted a public hearing on expanding gambling in Iowa and the location of 10 applications for a gaming license.

May, 2005:  Black Hawk County Gaming Association and Isle of Capri, Inc. were one of four sites awarded new gaming licenses in Iowa.

July, 2005:  Isle of Capri, Inc. presented advance checks to Black Hawk County Gaming Association and the City of Waterloo.  The Isle of Capri presented a gift of $1 million for a project to be decided upon by Black Hawk County Gaming Association, the City of Waterloo and Waterloo Development Corporation.  Subsequently, $500,000 of this gift was given to the Waterloo Center for the Arts to add a youth pavilion with the other $500,000 reserved for the Riverloop Expo project as part of Riverfront Renaissance.  Three million dollars was advanced to Black Hawk Gaming Association, to be repaid from future earnings, to be used for the Riverfront Renaissance project.  The City of Waterloo received a $1 million advance to be used for property tax relief, the money to be repaid from future earnings.

October, 2005:  A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site of the new casino.

June 30, 2007:  The new casino opened with the new slogan "The Isle Casino and Hotel at Waterloo."

August, 2007:  Black Hawk County Gaming Association began accepting applications for funding for projects involving property tax relief, capital improvements and charitable contribution.  Currently, applications for funding  are accepted on a quarterly basis.