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Fort Madison, Iowa, Casino Boat Closing Down After 13 Years

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Gambling on the water has been a way that many casino operators have gotten around local gambling laws, but the recent expansion and legalization of land based casinos has led to the end of one of Iowa’s gambling boats.

Catfish Bend received permission today to shut down its struggling Fort Madison casino gambling boat and the shutdown will be effective as of November 15th.

The boat had been running out of Fort Madison in the summer and then spent the winter months in Burlington.

The company, Catfish Bend has an operating land based casino in Burlington on Highway 61. The casino has four restaurants, a convention center, a water park, a bowling center, 180 hotel rooms, and a large gaming floor.

180 people will lose their jobs because of the boat being shut down, but they all will not be from the boat, as the company has said that it will be employees that have been with the company for less than six months and that some of the employees from the boat would be transferred to the land based operation.

While the company feels the land based casino hurt their business, others feel that it was mismanagement that caused the gambling boat to not be profitable.

New Brunswick Takes First Step Toward Casino Gambling

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Tourism is down in the province of New Brunswick, and when tourism is down, a casino is usually not far behind, as the province has decided to allow their first casino.

Over the past five years there has been a decline of 25 percent in New Brunswick’s tourism, and while a casino will not completely solve the problem, officials from the province believe it will help.

“We feel when visitors are coming to New Brunswick, giving them more options, more things to do while they’re here in the province will certainly help”, said Finance Minister Victor Bourdreau, in talking about the lagging tourism industry.

Requests for proposals were issued on Thursday and the hope is that by 2010, there will be an operating casino in the province. The only province left without casino gambling after today’s announcement is Newfoundland and Labrador.

The deadline for proposals is set for March 11th, and anyone looking to make a proposal should include other services such as restaurants, entertainment facilities, hotel rooms, and possibly harness racing, as they will be key components in the application reviews.

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