Cedar Rapids casino supporters ready to show off city - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids casino supporters ready to show off city

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Excited supporters of a Cedar Rapids casino rallied Wednesday night -- getting ready to show off the city to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

"We've done a pretty good job of explaining why Cedar Rapids needs this," said Steve Gray, Cedar Rapids Development Group Chairman. "We hope to show how much Cedar Rapids wants this."

Casino investors will take commissioners on a tour, showing them flood damaged neighborhoods, the site of the proposed casino, and the area nearby.

Supporters say a casino will help bring flood protection to parts of the city that were devastated by the record flooding in 2008.

"The flood protection system is really critical for us because that's going to allow for additional flood recovery and reinvestment," said Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Mayor.

Millions of dollars from the casino would go back into the city's nonprofits.

"We look forward to what we can do to help all of the people that so sincerely need so many things," said Linda Seger, Linn County Gaming Association. 

But it would mean less money for other cities -- a big factor when the commission is deciding whether to issue new gaming licenses.

Two statewide market studies done show some of Iowa's other casinos would stand to lose millions, especially Riverside Casino. The CEO there has been against the Cedar Rapids casino from the start.

But another factor is community support, which is what backers hope to show the commission on Thursday.

The city hopes for a lot of supporters at the public comment session held by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Supporters are asked to wear white. The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex.

The commission will not decide on a license Thursday. That's set to happen on April 17th.
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