Linn County casino backers can cautiously consider this another win putting them closer to the third time being the charm.
The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission again holds the casino's fate in its hands, and while they've rejected twice before, there's new hope. A story from the Cedar Rapids Gazette says the panel has greenlit the process of accepting applications from groups who may prospectively carry the eventual casino license. This does not mean the Racing & Commission has approved the development of a casino in Linn County. That timeline of that decision, along with the deadline for applications, has not been released.
Recently, one of the groups likely to be in line for casino development here has sold off some major assets. Peninsula Pacific Entertainment sold properties including the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Sioux City, presumably to prepare a campaign to become the proprietor of a Cedar Rapids casino.
Voters in Linn County passed another referendum in November of 2021, indicating a desire remains to have the project come to fruition.
One group still has a leg up in the process, as Cedar Rapids Development Group has had a longstanding agreement with the city to develop a casino.
Does Cedar Rapids "need" a casino? With multiple options around us, the answer is not really. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort in Riverside, The Isle Casinos in Waterloo & Bettendorf, Meskwaki Casino in Tama, Q Casino and Diamond Jo in Dubuque as well as Rhythm City In Davenport, all keep the eastern half of the state well-covered (much like western Iowa). But just as opponents say there is already too much competition, supporters say "why not Cedar Rapids?"
This is a developing story and we will update it as more information is received.