CASINO PLANS: 5% Of Revenue Offered To Greene Co.

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Organizers of the$40 million casino in Greene County have come up with what they think is a unique sales pitch to convince the state racing and gaming commission to let them build it.

Greene County officials reached a deal to get more money from the casino developer and they’ll also share more money with neighboring counties.

Wild Rose Entertainment, which already has casinos in Emmetsburg and Clinton, agreed to give five-percent of its gaming revenues to Greene County instead of the state minimum three-percent.

Grow Greene County Gaming, the non-profit that would hold the gaming license, also agreed to share some of that revenue with six neighboring counties.

It’s a way to make the project feel more like a regional casino since it will rely on far more customers and workers than Jefferson’s population of 4,000 can provide.

“We don’t have the labor pool that can support all the needs that we’re going to be looking at in Greene County and see with that we feel like that we can support our neighboring counties. It’s just a win for everybody,” Norm Fandel says.

The sharing agreement is just one part of a lengthy process to allow Jefferson to add to the existing 18 casinos statewide.

The casino hopes to have 275 full time workers, bring in $30-million a year in revenue and share $1.5-million to non-profits.

Organizers hope their sales pitch to share money stands out to regulators who will decide whether to grant a license.

“A unique concept and one that I don’t believe the commission has even had to see before you handle before and hopefully that goes a ways in them voting for the project,” Tom Timmons says.

The commission plans to discuss the findings of a study on casino expansion at its March meeting.

There is no word yet on when it could vote on Jefferson’s license application.