Casino trends: more than racing and gaming - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Casino trends: more than racing and gaming

KWWL (Dubuque) -- Casinos aren't what they used to be; they're bigger, fancier, and have more to do. On Wednesday, we got our first look at the $10 million renovation project at Mystique in Dubuque (formally Dubuque Greyhound Park and Casino).

"So far today, I'm about 100 dollars ahead. Told my wife, I was 40 ahead! Hahaha!" Dennis Seaton said.

Seaton loves his casinos; he and his wife go to Vegas, and are longtime patrons of local casinos.

"Way back in the earlier days when it was only for greyhound racing my dad and I used to come down when he came to town," Seaton said.

Times have changed; there's more than dog racing now. Anymore, people aren't just coming to casinos to gamble, but for food and entertainment.

At Mystique, there's a new restaurant, deli, buffet, entertainment stage, and more gambling space.

"This has a much more Vegas look to it I think. We've been to Vegas many, many times. This reminds me more of Vegas," Seaton said.

That's right, it's not just in Vegas anymore; the extra amenities are popping up in casinos everywhere The Diamond Jo opened a new casino with multiple restaurants, a bowling alley, and a new entertainment venue.

"I think the diamond Jo has raised the bar. They have a wonderful, beautiful property, but more than competition is to offer our customers the total experience," Mystique General Manager Jesus Aviles said.

When the Diamond Jo moved on land and opened its new building in December, revenue went up, as revenue at the former Dubuque Greyhound Park and Casino went down.

"Our revenues did take a hit. It didn't take as much of a hit as we thought because the market grew. So, it goes to show, if you offer a greater product, people will come in," Aviles said.

And now that Mystique has upped the ante with a $10 million greater product, gamblers like Seaton say they'll keep coming back

"All we do is gamble and eat, gamble and eat, over and over and over again!"

A ribbon-cutting will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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