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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.

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