Mystique (casino)

Casino logo
Address 1855 Greyhound Park Dr. Dubuque, IA 52001
Opening date June 1, 1985
Theme French
No. of rooms 116 @ the Hilton Garden Inn
Total gaming space 29,600 sq ft (2,750 m2)
Permanent shows Cabaret; Encore Stage
Signature attractions Greyhound racing (May-October)
Notable restaurants Champagne Steakhouse; Bon Appetite Buffet
Casino type Land-based
Owner City of Dubuque
Previous names Dubuque Greyhound Park (1985-1995), Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino (1995-2009)
Years renovated 1995, 2005, 2009
Website Mystique Website

Mystique, formerly Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino (DGPC), is a combination greyhound race track and casino (racino) located in Dubuque, Iowa. The casino is owned by the City of Dubuque, and operated by the non-profit Dubuque Racing Association, its license holder. It is a member of the Iowa Gaming Association, and shares a gaming license with the Diamond Jo Casino, also in Dubuque. Beginning operations on June 1, 1985, the DGPC became a full-service casino following the introduction of table games in 2005.

Mystique is located at 1855 Greyhound Park Drive, on Chaplain Schmitt Island, near the Mississippi River. The casino, along with attractions in the Port of Dubuque and Downtown Dubuque, have helped to create a large and growing tourism market in Dubuque.



Mystique is currently the larger of Dubuque's two casinos, with 29,600 square feet (2,750 m2) of gaming space. It has 1,000 slot, keno, and video poker machines, and table games including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Three-card poker, Four-card poker, Pai Gow poker, Let it Ride, Texas Hold 'em and Ultimate Texas Hold 'em. The operation also has four restaurants--the Champagne Steakhouse, Bon Appetit Buffet, The Delicatessen in the greyhound track seating area, and Houlihan's adjacent to the facility. Mystique features two entertainment venues--the Cabaret venue for national and 'tribute' musical performers plus the Bonkerz Comedy Club, and the Encore stage in the casino showcasing local musical acts every weekend.[1]


With the onset of the "Farm Crisis," and a successive economic recession, the Iowa State Legislature passed the Pari-mutuel Wagering Act in 1984, with the hope of jumpstarting the state's economy. The bill permitted the opening of horse and greyhound race tracks in Iowa. A group of Dubuque citizens, originally affiliated with the city's convention and visitors bureau, formed the indpenedent, non-profit Dubuque Racing Association to study the feasibility of opening a race track in Dubuque. In April 1984, a 20-year, $7.9 million bond referendum was put before the voters, and passed with a solid 70% majority.

The following year, on June 1, 1985, the Dubuque Greyhound Park opened as Iowa's first pari-mutuel race track, and as the first non-profit greyhound race track in the nation. The operation was a resounding success, and the facility's bonds were paid off in May 1991, 14 years ahead of schedule. In 1994, the Iowa Legislature passed another bill, allowing for the installation of slot machines at land-based casinos in the state. The Dubuque operation did just that in November 1995, re-naming itself the Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino.

In 2002, Dubuque County voters showed their satisfaction with the DGPC by voting to allow the continuation of gambling in Dubuque County, with over 80% in support. Iowa law requires that county voters re-approve gambling every 8 years.

In 2009, Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino was renamed Mystique. A $10 million renovation includes incorporating a French theme throughout the casino, as well as adding a new steakhouse, buffet, and entertainment area.[2]


On the eve of its 20th anniversary, in May 2005, the casino completed a $33 million expansion and renovation project, tripling the size of the gaming floor to 29,000 square feet (2,700 m2). The facility also became a full-service casino, by adding table games and a poker room for the first time.[3] The expansion greatly increased the casino's market share, with attendance rising to over 1 million visitors in the following year.

That same year, a 116-room Hilton Garden Inn was built adjacent to the casino, along with a Houlihan's Restaurant. The expanded facility has recently been recognized for its state-of-the-art air purification system, winning several national awards.[4]


External links

Coordinates: 42°31′01″N 90°38′39″W / 42.51701°N 90.644208°W / 42.51701; -90.644208

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