CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. -- Century Casinos, Inc. announced that, through Landmark Gaming LC, it has jointly submitted as co-applicant with the Franklin County Development Association (FCDA) a casino facility license application to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) for a casino in Franklin County, Iowa. The proposed project, The Landmark Hotel and Casino, is a moored barge casino, hotel and entertainment facility in the Mississippi riverboat style. Landmark Gaming LC will be 40% owned by Century Casinos Iowa, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Century Casinos, Inc. if a license is granted. The other 60% will be owned by Gayle Burnett, Roger Burnett and Michael Dunn, the Iowa residents that own the land and land options which will be developed into the Landmark project. Century Casinos Management, Inc. is expected to enter into a long term agreement to manage the casino.
If a casino license is awarded to the Company, the Landmark Hotel and Casino is projected to be open within 15 months of license award and finalization of funding arrangements. The proposal includes a casino with up to 1,200 slot machines, 34 tables, 120 hotel rooms, 1,000 covered parking spaces and will employ approximately 430 people. Total revenues in the first year are expected to be $72 million according to a study prepared by Gaming & Resort Development, Inc. Total capital costs for the project are estimated to be approximately $67 million.
There are currently ten river boats, three racetrack slot machine operations, and three Class III Indian gaming venues in the state of Iowa. The ten river boat casinos have generated approximately $715 million in gross gaming revenues in fiscal year 2004 (from July 2003 to June 2004; as per information available on the website of the IRGC). Licensing requires sponsorship by an approved charitable organization that receives a percentage of the gaming revenues. The FCDA is the sponsoring charitable organization for this project. Casino licenses are awarded based on the merit of the project. The number of licenses awarded is determined by the IRGC. The site of the proposed project is located approximately 80 miles north of Des Moines, Iowa and 52 miles south of the Iowa-Minnesota border. The proposed project will be located on a manmade body of water adjacent to, and with a clear view for travelers on Interstate 35, Iowa's primary north-south link between Minneapolis and Des Moines, along Iowa Highway 3. The Company believes that the proposed casino's proximity to major roadways and its location in a county that is very supportive of the project and proactive in seeking a large businesses such as this to provide employment opportunities for the residences of Franklin and surrounding counties could give the county an edge over others competing for a license.
"The opportunity to participate in the expansion of casino gaming in the heartland of America is very exciting," said Erwin Haitzmann, Chairman and CEO of Century Casinos. "The experience of Century Casinos' senior management and the introduction of a casino on the rural I35 corridor present us with yet another opportunity in a market suited to our talents."