The Historic Nation’s 1st Riverboat Casino Resurfaces In The Mississippi River

Riverboat Casino

Water levels in several areas of the Mississippi River are at record lows. The water level of Memphis, Tennessee’s McKellar Lake, a Mississippi River backwater, is over 11 feet lower than it was historically. This has brought to light a hitherto undiscovered Mississippi riverboat casino among the best online casinos.

Biloxi was the first riverboat casino to open in the United States. Memphis has buried it in muck since the Mississippi River is receding.

Not a single inch of the Diamond Lady is concealed by the waterline, from bow to stern. This is both sad and frightening.

The tragic conclusion of The Diamond Lady’s Facebook story is that she was coated in muck when she arose from where she sank a year ago.

The Diamond Lady

The Diamond Lady was the first riverboat casino to open on the Mississippi River in Iowa since the 1800s, when it was completed in 1991. It was designed to resemble ancient paddlewheel ships from that era, but each of its decks contained contemporary slot machines.

On April 1, 1991, 3,000 people gathered in Bettendorf, Iowa, to watch Vanna White embark on her maiden voyage. That day, the riverboat made four voyages, one of which was a $37.95 dinner cruise.

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It was bright and packed with individuals who desired to experience the 1990s. People were obsessed with the Diamond Lady. In its first year of operation, over 500,000 passengers boarded. In July of 1989, Iowa authorized riverboat gaming. This provided a much-needed boost to the state during the farm-implementation industrial crises of the 1980s.

As the Mississippi River descends to an unprecedented level, the riverboat is now clearly visible. Even while her decks are largely intact and her name remains on the hull, her double smoke stacks are not as towering as they once were, and she has lost much of her luster.

Bernie Goldstein, the Scrap Metal Billionaire, constructed the Diamond Lady. In the 1900s, it was the first legal gambling boat to enter Iowa’s portion of the Mississippi River. It was a replica of the paddlewheel ships that used to frequent the river. It had numerous decks, slot machines on each floor, and low enough ceilings to touch.

However, according to gambling legislation, cruises could only be four hours long, and wagers could not exceed $5. Also, gambling may not occupy more than 30 percent of a boat’s space. According to Goldstein, these regulations cost his business millions in its first year.

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In 2008, the Diamond Lady visited McKellar Lake, located close to the Mississippi River. It is now one of several boats sunk in McKellar Lake and stranded in the muck. This is because the Mississippi River is nearly at record-low levels. The Diamond Lady was allegedly housed on Lake McKellar in Tennessee, close to the Mississippi River. In 2021, the boat sank due to a frost.

“I felt my heart thumping.” Rich Westfall, who 30 years ago tracked the Diamond Lady and Emerald Lady from Bettendorf, Iowa, to Biloxi, claimed, “I had no idea what became of it.”

On August 1, 1992, he assisted in opening the Isle of Capri casino as the company’s marketing director. It was the first casino in Biloxi and the Southeastern United States.

The Fall of DIamond Lady

According to Westfall, Iowa law restricts casino space on riverboats to 30%. Goldstein wanted to relocate his boats to a more lucrative location. On July 5, 1992, the ladies left Iowa for Biloxi, where the calliopes of the vessels greeted a parade of boats.

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The Diamond Lady and her sister ship, the Emerald Lady, sailed to the eastern point of Biloxi following their final voyage on 5 July of that year. Here, Goldstein permanently attached them and a dock. Thus, the Isle of Capri was constructed. It was Mississippi’s first casino on a pier.

In 1999, the Diamond Lady was taken out of service and replaced with larger riverboats.

In 2016, the vessel was known as “The Belle of Cincinnati” and primarily cruised Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

After it sank, it was abandoned in the Mississippi River’s backwaters. Still visible is the waterline. From the hull to about halfway up the second deck, the white and blue hues of the Diamond Lady faded to a dismal brown. 

The ship had sat in the murky lake for about a decade, becoming soggy and rotting. Above that brown line where water has damaged it, you can still make out some of its original hues and get a sense of how it appeared when it was a popular gambling spot.

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