It’s Time For The Cedar Rapids Casino Dream To Die [OPINION]
Let me start off by stating that I am by no means 'anti-gambling'. I have many times spent mine own money at one of Iowa's casinos. I'm still here working this morning, so clearly my plans to strike it rich haven't quite worked out yet. I also understand that gambling is a real problem for others. When I read recently that a group is once again trying to gather support for a Cedar Rapids casino, I reacted in much the same way I do when I go gambling. Don't be surprised if your efforts lead to a sum of zero.
KCRG reports that the Linn County Gaming Association began working to gain support back in November to get a state gaming license. And that has been the biggest hurdle facing Cedar Rapids. The city has been shot down the past two times that it applied for one. During one of those rejections the State Racing and Gaming Commission cited that the gambling market was over-saturated and that a Cedar Rapids casino would eat too much into existing casino profits. That's right. In case you forgot, there are already 8 casinos within 90 miles of Cedar Rapids.
Ron Corbet, former mayor of Cedar Rapids and a member of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, says that sports gambling has changed revenue streams for existing casinos, according to KCRG. There are also four new members of the Racing and Gaming Commission that weren't on the board when Cedar Rapids as last denied a license. The first step is of course, getting things approved with voters. Look for that to ramp up soon.
I'm sorry to say, but Cedar Rapids...you missed your chance to get on the gambling train. Its time for groups that claim to have the best interest of Cedar Rapids in mind to find other ways for the city to prosper. And if you really want to gamble, here are all the Iowa cities you can find a casino in; Altoona, Bettendorf, Burlington, Carter Lake, Clinton, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Dubuque, Emmetsburg, Jefferson, Larchwood, Marquette, Northwood, Onawa, Osceola, Riverside, Sioux City, Sloan, Tama, and Waterloo.