Wild Rose debuts horse, dog betting

Jefferson next in casino plan

Special to The Jefferson Herald

Wild Rose Casino & Resort became the first Iowa casino without live racing to offer off-track betting (OFB) Friday in Clinton.

The ability to offer simulcasting resulted from a change in Iowa gaming laws in 2014. Under that statute, live dog racing was phased out in Council Bluffs and transitioned to the Iowa Greyhound Association at The Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque.

Wild Rose intends to bring pari-mutuel horse and dog racing to its other properties in Jefferson and Emmetsburg in the near future.

The first day of wagering included races from 16 different tracks across the country including thoroughbred racing from Santa Anita Park, Aqueduct, Keenland and Oak Lawn.

“We are thrilled to be the first land-based 99F casino in Iowa to offer simulcasting and pari-mutuel to our patrons,” said Steve Nauman, general manager of Wild Rose Clinton. “The opening comes just in time for the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday. This race serves as a qualifier for the Kentucky Derby, and this year, the stakes are even higher because there is no clear-cut Derby contender.”

Iowa-based Donegal Racing will feature one of the race’s “longshots” with Irish Freedom.

In preparation for OTB, Wild Rose Clinton remodeled and upgraded Coaches Corner with 56 new televisions including 16 screens that combine for theater-style viewing. In addition, each booth in Coaches features upgraded screens for viewing races or other programming.

Wild Rose officials in Jefferson are eyeing changes to the Coaches Corner restaurant and bar for the introduction of horse and dog racing as well.

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