All bets are off on Cedar Rapids casino - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

All bets are off on Cedar Rapids casino

Posted: Updated:

All bets are off on a Cedar Rapids casino.

The state gaming commission turned down a casino license for Linn County with a 3-2 vote. 

"I could see supporting a casino in Cedar Rapids but for me it was the revenues from the nonprofits to the rural communities in Iowa that  I had a hard time with," says Commissioner Kristine Kramer, who voted no today. 

Commissioner Dolores Mertz was in the minority supporting the idea of gaming in the city of five seasons. 

 "I think the second largest city in the state deserves something you know why should everybody around them have something? And to me when you're the second largest city you're donating a lot to the state so I just think you need a benefit the state can provide you," she told us. 

The city had three proposals on the table.

Wild Rose was the smallest of the three and would have been a boutique style casino.

Cedar Crossing Central would have been connected to the US Cellular Center and Cedar Crossing on the River would have been the largest, created by the same developer. 

Despite being told no twice now Cedar Crossing says they plan to continue to roll the dice. 
"Today we made a lot of progress towards our ultimate goal of getting a casino in Cedar Rapids. Last time around we got one vote, today we got two votes and the next time we need three votes," says Jonathan Swain, a partner on the project. 

Mayor Corbett says he was disappointed with today's outcome. 

 "Unless there are changes on the Racing and Gaming Commission it's unlikely that any developer is going to apply for a license. And that's why I'm in favor of term limits and getting different faces and new people on the Racing and Gaming commission."

Commissioners serve three year terms and are appointed by the Governor, however they can be reappointed an unlimited number of times. 

Wild Rose sent the following statement to us after the vote:

"We believe that our proposal struck a delicate balance in terms of offering long-term
benefits to Cedar Rapids and Linn County—entertainment; support for downtown
hotels, restaurants, theaters, concerts and shops; and nonprofit funding—while also
addressing the concerns articulated by the commission back in 2014.
It is disappointing that Linn County will not get a gaming license; as always, we
respect the decision of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commissioners.
Wild Rose continues to operate in Iowa, and our team remains focused on identifying
new ways to grow and expand our operations in the Midwest."

Cedar Crossing also sent a statement that reads:

"We are disappointed by the Commission’s decision not to grant a license to Cedar Crossing. However, we were pleased to hear the commissioners recognized our proposal was for a comprehensive gaming and entertainment venue. We view today’s three-to-two vote as progress, since in 2014 the vote was four-to-one.

We would like to thank the City of Cedar Rapids, the Linn County Supervisors and the Cedar Rapids community for their support of Cedar Crossing. We have worked with the community since 2013 and are committed to bringing a Cedar Crossing casino to Cedar Rapids.

We respect the commissioners’ decision and will look for future opportunities."

Powered by Frankly