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Gaming Commission Votes Down Cedar Rapids Casino Proposal

Posted: Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at 10:06 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

After months of meetings and deliberation the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) has made it’s decision on a Cedar Rapids casino.

The IRGC voted down all three proposals for gambling licenses in Linn County at Thursday’s meeting in Dubuque. The board voted 4-1 against the Cedar Crossing larger project which had 840 slot machines and 30 gaming tables. They voted 3-2 against the Cedar Crossing small project which had 550 slot machines and 15 tables. The board also voted 4-1 against Wild Rose Casino’s proposal that had 600 slot machines and 20 gaming tables. Board chair Jeff Lambert made a motion to deny all three proposals, and that motion passed 3-2.

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort General Manager Dan Franz says he’s relieved by the board’s decision, “I’m certainly happy with the results. I give the commissioners a lot of credit for the work that they go through and do to evaluate all the different factors that go into a difficult decision. I just applaud the work that they do.”

Franz says the atmosphere of this meeting was pretty similar to that of three years ago when the IRGC voted 4-1 against a gambling license for Linn County. At that time commissioners cited a heavy financial impact on the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, Washington County’s largest employer. Two market studies released in October showed a Cedar Rapids casino now would cannibalize 45% of its revenue from nearby casinos, mostly from Riverside. The Riverside Casino & Golf Resort anticipated that 250 jobs could be lost at the local casino because of a Cedar Rapids competitor.