Iowa Gaming Commission Rejects $164 Million Cedar Rapids Casino
Last week the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected a proposal for a $164 million Cedar Rapids casino. The Commission said that the proposed venue would hurt existing casinos.
Supporters of the project said that it would provide an economic boost to the region; they also said that it would act as a catalyst for development in the area, create jobs and generate vast sums for tax revenue and charities.
However, representatives of casinos in Riverside, Dubuque and Waterloo said that it would take business away from them. After hearing the arguments the five-member commission voted 4 to 1 against the new casino.
While the entire panel said that the plans were excellent, the four who voted against the proposal did so due to studies commissioned by the panel last year which found that Iowa’s gambling market was saturated.
At present there are over 20 casinos in Iowa and there is a chance than any new casino developments would force layoffs and hurt local non-profit groups that use charitable money given by casinos.
The result of the vote is not a huge surprise as the commission has not granted a new casino license since 2010 when it called for a three-to-five year freeze due to concerns about market saturation.