Board approves $40 million casino near Jefferson

BURLINGTON (AP) – The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa.

Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Burlington when commission chairman Jeff Lamberti cast the deciding vote in favor of the license.

Lamberti said it was a “very, very difficult decision.”

It’s the first license granted for a new casino by the commission since 2010. The commission in April rejected a plan for a Cedar Rapids casino, citing market saturation.

Wild Rose Entertainment plans to build a resort that would include slot machines, table games, an events center and a 71-room hotel.

Prairie Meadows casino in Altoona lobbied against the plan, warning that it would hurt its operation.