License for Cedar Rapids casino rejected, Dubuque reaction - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

License for Cedar Rapids casino rejected, Dubuque reaction

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The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission did not approve a license for a casino to come to Cedar Rapids.

Three of the commissioners voted no -- two voted yes. 

Those against it had concerns about how it would affect existing casinos in the area, including Dubuque. Experts said having a casino in Iowa's second largest city would be detrimental because the market is saturated.

Mayor Roy Buol was pleased with the outcome.

"A big relief for me and certainly anyone who understands how these casinos benefit the city of Dubuque, so I'm very pleased with the decision that was made today," he said.

There are two casinos in Dubuque, the Diamond Jo Casino and the Q Casino.

"Dubuque's impact would be anticipated about 5 percent negative hit to our market, it would've been devastating however to Riverside and Waterloo," said Rick Dickinson, president of  Greater Dubuque Development Corporation.

The Isle Casino is in Waterloo.

"We would expect to see 15, 20 percent, maybe even a little bit more on our revenues, which you know in the last 10 years, we done about 40 million dollars in grants," said Tim Hurley, chair of the Black Hawk County Gaming Commission.

There was also a concern about potential layoffs at other casinos.

As for supporters, they say Cedar Rapids deserves more. "Why should everybody around them have something -- to me when you're the second largest city, you're donating a lot to the state...It benefits not only the county, and the city, the state as well," said Dolores Mertz, commissioner of IRGC.

Diamond Jo Casino declined to comment, but they were opposed in 2014 when the board rejected a Cedar Rapids license.

A spokesperson for the Q Casino said they support the decision made today.

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