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Market Studies Show Cedar Rapids Casino Cannibalizes Riverside Casino Revenue

Posted: Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at 6:28 am

Two market studies have been published that predict how a potential Cedar Rapids casino could affect the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort.

Both studies show a cannibalization of revenue from the Riverside Casino. The Marquette Advisors study says the largest Cedar Rapids casino proposal would receive 45% of Riverside’s current revenue, or $22 million. The WhiteSand Gaming study says $27 million could be cannibalized. Washington Economic Development Group Executive Director Ed Raber explains, “A significant amount of all three of the Cedar Rapids casino proposals would simply be redistributing casino revenues from one place to another.”

Marquette says a $20 million dollar loss to Riverside could result in a layoff of 90 employees. Raber comments on this finding, “I think it could at least be that. A lot of the jobs that are in Riverside are based on a certain amount of activity there. So when they say that they might lose 90 jobs, I think that is a conservative estimate because there might be parts of the operation that really are not sustainable. You could see a lot more of the operation, that they just close.”

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will discuss these studies at their Emmetsburg meeting Thursday. They will make a final decision on whether to grant a gambling license to Cedar Rapids at a meeting on November 16.