Inside the Abandoned Catfish Bend Casino near Burlington, Iowa
There is a former riverboat casino that is abandoned and still floating on the Illinois/Iowa border nearly adrift in the Mississippi River near Burlington.
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
The first casinos in Illinois were riverboats, including this one connected to the tiny village of Gulfport. To be able to gamble they had to be floating on a body of water. They would actually move a few feet from shore so no one could get off during the duration of the cruise. It was usually an hour or two.
It was a strange set-up because there is not a lot of room on that type of vessel. Only cities on rivers could get them.
History Of the Catfish Bend Riverboat Casino
The name of this former riverboat casino is the Catfish Bend Casino. The facility opened in November of 1994.
The location was on the Mississippi River which is the state line of Illinois and Iowa. Its home was Burlington, Iowa with Gulfport, Illinois just across the bridge.
In 2007, the laws changed and casinos were no longer required by law to be floating on a waterway. The owners then built a new bigger and better complex on the land.
The casino boat was left abandoned. Surprisingly, it still sits there on the river.
Exploring Inside The Former Riverboat Casino
Nowadays, the only way to access it is by water.
A couple of brave explorers hopped on a small boat a rowed over to the former casino to get a look inside.
Of course, all of the gambling machines are gone but they did discover some other interesting items.
I think the people who check out all these abandoned places have a lot of guts. I would be too afraid of getting in trouble for trespassing.
Take a look at the video they made of their adventure. The Catfish Bend casino is now land-based in Burlington.