Cedar Rapids Mayor still wants casino, plans to fight for it - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids Mayor still wants casino, plans to fight for it

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Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett pitches his casino plan on Dec. 2. (Michelle Corless, KWWL) Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett pitches his casino plan on Dec. 2. (Michelle Corless, KWWL)
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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says the people in his city still want a casino -- and he's going to continue to fight for one.

In April, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said no to a Linn County casino license. At that time, Chairman Jeff Lamberti told investors and backers that they could try for legislative reform.

Any reform would need to be passed by both the State House and State Senate.

Tuesday morning Corbett announced a legislative reform proposal with five main points:

  1. A special license for Cedar Rapids to become the state's first smoke-free casino.
  2. Changing the formula for how casino revenues are divided, giving more to counties without casinos.
  3. A 10-year moratorium on new licenses.
  4. Eliminating the tax casinos pay for frequent players.
  5. Require casinos to re-invest the money saved from the tax into nonprofits.

At a news conference, State Senators Wally Horn and Dan Zumbach  announced they'll be backing the proposal this upcoming legislative session. Corbett also announced a companion bill is expected to be proposed in the House.

KWWL spoke with an investor with the Cedar Rapids Development Group, which led the push for a casino, after the news conference. He said the group still thinks a casino will be beneficial to the city and is working with elected officials.

KWWL's Michelle Corless is continuing to gather reaction throughout the day and will have continuing coverage at noon, 5, and 6.

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