The Riverboat Development Authority (RDA) was founded in 1989 for the purpose of becoming the qualified sponsoring organization for a riverboat casino in Davenport, Iowa. Iowa law requires that the gambling license be held by a non-profit organization.
In 1991 RDA received a gambling license in partnership with the President Riverboat Casino, which operated in Davenport until October of 2000. At that time, the casino was sold and is currently operating as the Rhythm City Casino. RDA approved the use of their license and the Rhythm City and RDA received a license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission at that time.
RDA has 12 volunteers from all parts of Scott County and a full time Executive Officer, the President, Mary Ellen Chamberlin. The RDA operates somewhat the same as a community foundation, with the exception that it has a single income source – the Rhythm City Casino. Grants are made from current income and the amount of money available for grants is tied to the casino gaming receipts.
The Board of Directors of the Riverboat Development Authority (RDA) met November 11, 2013 to approve and award grants to 44 non-profit community organizations. The grants totaled $929,500.00, bringing the grand total amount awarded from RDA to over $56,000,000.00 since 1991.