Cedar Rapids Casino Dream Soon to Be Determined by Upcoming Referendum

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Business and community leaders in Iowa’s second-biggest county are supporting an upcoming referendum that will see the Cedar Rapids area granted a right to host a casino.

Linn County Gaming Association (LCGA) has selected five local leaders to serve the nonprofit group board. In its pursuit of a casino, LCGA has selected Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) to be its sole casino operator partner if the voters approve the referendum on the 2nd November ballot.

If Linn county residents approve the referendum, LCGA and P2E will jointly seek casino license from Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC). Linn County’s referendum process dates back to 2013 where 61 percent of residents approved a referendum. However, Iowa law calls for a second vote eight years after the first.

However, even if the referendum will be successful this time, it is not a guarantee that state officials will approve the plan. IRGC in 2017 denied Cedar Rapid city a chance to operate a casino on 3-2 votes. Opponents cited the saturation of the casino market in Iowa. Still, Linn County remains unwavering about the revenue a casino will bring to the community.

LCGA isn’t the only local group support a casino project. Cedar Rapids Development Group, (CDRG) made of 100 community leaders, has set aside millions for casino development. CDRG initiated the first referendum and continues to rally support.

If the referendum is successful and IRGA approves the license, the LCGA would receive funding from P2E. P2E would also be required to distribute grants and awards to local nonprofits according to Iowa law.

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