New Diamond Jo complex opens Thursday in Dubuque, Iowa

Dec 12, 2008 8:29 PM
by Kevin Stott | After 14 years of boat-based gambling, the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa held the grand opening for its new $84.1 million complex on Thursday night. Last Saturday night, the Diamond Jo – which is owned and operated by Peninsula Gaming, LLC – closed its doors on the old property from Dec. 7 – 10 to prepare for the move to the new facility.

The Diamond Jo began operating in 1994 under ownership of the Greater Dubuque Riverboat Entertainment Company. Just one year later, a larger, three-story boat replicating a classic 19th century paddlewheel with 51,900 square feet replaced the original vessel. The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will reportedly use the former building adjoining the old Diamond Jo for its planned expansion but the actual steamboat itself is on the market.

The new 188,000-square-foot entertainment complex on the Port of Dubuque (on the Mississippi River) includes over 900 slot machines, 17 table games, a live poker room, a 30-lane bowling center (Cherry Lanes) with two party rooms, three restaurants, three bars, a broadcast center and 5,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. The Diamond Jo will employ around 450 people.

In a fairly new trend prevalent in the gaming industry, only 20 percent of the new Diamond Jo facility is devoted to gambling. The new facility’s Mississippi Moon Bar theater, which has a capacity of 800, has a variety of talented musical acts scheduled to perform in the future including Jewel, Collective Soul, Darius Rucker, Cracker, Robert Cray Band, the Doobie Brothers and Cheap Trick.

The casino, located at 301 Casino Street in Dubuque, is a member of the Iowa Gaming Associtaion, You can find out more about the Diamond Jo Casino by logging on to their website at or by calling them toll-free at 1-800-LUCKYJO or (563) 690-4800.