With only two weeks left until the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) vote on the three Cedar Rapids casino proposals, it seems it would not be easy for the commissioners to reach to a decision. One of the Commission’s members revealed to TV9 that they are finding it hard to make up their minds about the proposals.
Currently, all three proposals are being reviewed by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. The vote, which is to take place in Dubuque, is scheduled for November 16th, and the Commission’s administrator Brian Ohorilko confirmed that the commissioners are occupied with the proposals’ review over the last few days left.
Three Cedar Rapids Casino Proposals Reviewed
As mentioned above, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is reviewing a total of three separate proposals for downtown Cedar Rapids.
Two of them were made by Cedar Rapids Development Group. The first one of the proposals is pretty much the same one that has been made three years ago and features the development of a $196-million Cedar Crossing casino that would be located on the west side of the Cedar River. The other proposal made by Cedar Rapids Development Group involves the development of a smaller Cedar Crossing Central casino – a project that has been estimated to a total of $106 million. The smaller casino is planned to replace a parkade in close proximity to the US Cellular Center.
The third casino proposal for the area was made by Wild Rose Entertainment. The company’s plans involve the construction of a smaller “boutique” casino located next to the Skogman building. The construction expenses for the project have been estimated to approximately $42 million.
The administrator of the Commission, Mr. Ohorilko, explained that the commissioners are trying to make the best decision for the region. The former Chairman of the Commission and current commissioner Jeff Lamberti shared that a decision is not to be easily made, saying that the members of the IRGC are not expected to come to a decision until the end. He also confirmed that the commissioners are finding it hard to come to their mind about the casino project.
A Hard Decision to Be Made
Actually, the decision-making process is really not easy, for the five members of the Commission have a lot to take into consideration. One of the most serious issues to consider is associated with possible problems that a new casino could bring to the area.
The issue dates back to 2014, when Cedar Rapids Development Group made another proposal for a large casino venue, and market studies showed that such a project could generate a significant revenue which, however, would offset the revenue of the other casinos in the area.
On the other hand, if the commissioners turn down the casino proposals, they would literally say “no” to a multi-million cash flow. Two market studies have been carried out in the region, with one of them showing that a Cedar Rapids casino would generate new revenue of $23 to $47 million, depending on the greenlighted proposal.