Written by Michael Crowe, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Thursday, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission denied the license application for the proposed Cedar Crossing casino in Cedar Rapids. Without it, the casino cannot be built or operated.
It's a tough pill to swallow for Mayor Ron Corbett.
"Well, obviously I'm extremely disappointed in the results of the IRGC decision today," Corbett said.
He said developers feel misled by the commission.
"It would have been a lot easier, if they were never going to give us a license, to tell us up front, so we didn't have to go there, through all the cost and effort to get where we are today," Corbett said.
That cost has been substantial. To date, developers have spent over $7 million on the project. Now, the future of the land is uncertain, but some in Waterloo are counting their blessings.
"Not necessarily happy or ecstatic, it's not a time for that, it's not that kind of day," said Tim Hurley of the Black Hawk County Gaming Association (BHCGA). "But I've very, very relieved."
The BHCGA receives a percentage of revenue from the Waterloo Isle casino, which the organization uses for community development. Hurley has repeatedly emphasized that, if approved, the Cedar Crossing project would have cut into his group's charitable donations.
"[Cedar Crossing] was just based too much on, even though they don't like the word, the cannibalization," Hurley said.
Some have already begun to discuss appealing the IRGC's ruling, but Corbett said he doesn't have much home.
"Right now, it looks like the door has been shut pretty hard and locked up," he said.
"It's huge," Hurley said. "It's huge. That's why we fought so hard. This was a real threat and we took it on that way."
Corbett said the city plans to continue flood recovery at the site.
Both Diamond Jo and Mystique casinos in Dubuque declined to comment on the IRGC's decision.
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