Studies: Cedar Rapids casino would take millions from others - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Studies: Cedar Rapids casino would take millions from others


Two statewide gaming market studies show a Cedar Rapids casino would take millions of dollars from nearby casinos.

In March 2013, Linn County voters overwhelmingly approved the idea of a Cedar Rapids casino. Since then, investors have been trying to convince the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Cedar Rapids resident Drake Wilson says he's in support of the casino, regardless of the study's findings.

"Everybody's got their on casinos they go to, whether it's one here or wherever else in Iowa, they're going to got to the one that they want to go to," said Wilson.

Greene County has also applied for a license.

The commission had two statewide studies done to see what the impact of new casinos would be on existing casinos in the state.

Marquette Advisers found that Cedar Crossings would bring in $81 million per year by 2017. However, $59 million would come from other casinos.

According to this study, Riverside Casino & Golf Resort would see the biggest impact, losing around $25 million.

The Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo and Meskwaki would lose around $10 million.

Casinos in the Quad Cities would be down around $6 million and other casinos statewide just down $2 million.

The other study was done by Union Gaming. That study found that a Cedar Rapids casino would have an even bigger impact to Riverside -- taking more than $37 million a year.

Steve Gray, chairman of the Cedar Rapids Development Group says the proposed casino would be beneficial.

"Our proposed investment in Cedar Rapids would yield more revenue for the state and local communities and would not threaten the financial viability of any neighboring casinos," said Gray.

Wilson says he thought businesses are supposed to compete.

"Every business has competition, it's part of the way that it goes, it's just how it goes," said Wilson.

This study said Meskwaki would lose almost $11 million. The Isle in Waterloo would be down almost $9.3.

This study included numbers for the two Dubuque casinos, saying Diamond Jo would lose out on $4 million and Mystique would be down $2.4 million.

Members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has said these studies will have a big impact on their decision. The commission decides whether it will issue a Cedar Rapids casino license on April 17.

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