Would a new casino affect you? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Would a new casino affect you?

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Though you may not think so, the fate of the proposed Cedar Crossing casino could affect your daily life, even if you don't gamble.

No matter your stance on gambling, casinos do bring money to the community.

The Black Hawk County Gaming Commission gets a percentage of the profits from the Isle of Capri in Waterloo, and officials say their funds would drop if Cedar Crossing is built. That money is used to improve the community.

"Downtown redevelopment projects with Main Street or something up at [the University of Northern Iowa,] like the scoreboard, those would be very hard to do," said Tim Hurley, with the BHCGA.

Grants include $150,000 to the Waterloo fire department, $60,000 to the Grout Museum, $20,000 to the Arboretum, and $500,000 for the new scoreboard at the UNI Dome.

Still, it's a tough decision.

"We look at other things like the impact on the community, the jobs created, those kinds of things," said Jeff Lamberti, Iowa Racing and Gaming Commissioner. "What new revenue we might generate, and quite frankly there is no magic number set in code or anything like that."

On the other hand, the mayor of Cedar Rapids says the new casino will bring more gaming revenue to the state, but opponents say it'll take a piece of an already limited pie.

A site visit for the proposed casino is coming up in a few weeks, and the final decision will be made a few weeks after that.


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