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.
At the Board Meeting on Monday, May 20, 2013, the Board of Directors awarded forty five grants, totaling $720,000.00.
Since the first grant awards were made in 1991, the RDA has contributed $55,129,522.24 to over five hundred and fifty non-profit organizations and groups in the Quad City Area.