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The economic importance of casinos to rural areas

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In the rural areas of Iowa, in the communities of Emmetsburg and Northwood, people are hoping for an economic boost with the opening of several new casinos at the end of 2006. These casinos will bring hundreds of much-wanted jobs to the area, and the lobbyists for casinos, hope that their hard work is finally going to pay off economically.

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Almost four-thousand people came for an interview, for a handful of jobs in the soon-to-open casinos in Emmetsburg in Palo Alto County and in Worth County near Northwood. A representative of D-Emmetsburg, Marcella Frevert, stated that a new motel is already built, waiting for tourists to visit the not-even-build casino and soon there will be a new fast-food restaurant too. Frevert believes that all Emmetsburg retailers will benefit from the opening of the casino. Up until now, around 2,200 people applied for the only 350 jobs at the new casino. According to Frevert, everybody is excited about the coming of the new casino.

Besides creating new jobs, Frevert hopes that the new casino will also be able to increase the number of students in the local school district. In the past years, the number of students has decreased massively, and Frevert believes that the new casino will attract more jobs and therefore more families with children to the area, which should fill-up the schools again.

Kevin Preston of the Wild Rose Casino & Resort in Emmetsburg said that the new casino is to open Memorial Day weekend, which is almost a month and a half ahead of schedule. Preston explains that the construction is going very smooth. The new riverboat casino will offer 550 slot machines, 15 table games, an Irish pub, a fill buffet, a convention center and a motel with 70 rooms. In addition, a Godfather's Pizza, Wells' Blue Bunny and a local bakery will also be built especially for the gamblers.

Next month is the grand opening of the Diamond Jo Casino in Wroth County. The Executive Director of the Worth County Development Authority, Kim Miller, is very excited about the big opening. Depending on the casino revenues, the non-profit group that Miller also leads, will give away $3,000 to $5,000 scholarships to Worth County high school graduates. This way, Miller hopes to encourage former residents of Wroth County to move back with their children.

The Diamond Jo Casino will be officially open for playing in November, first only for family members and friends by invitation-only. Another opening is set for April 6 and the grand opening on November 19. This casino will have a collection of 500 slot machines, twelve blackjack tables, two roulette and craps tables and 5 poker tables. According to the casino's general manager Jim Dickstein, already 8,000 people have already signed up for the Diamond Jo Player's Club.

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