Thursday will see the Iowa state regulators to vote whether Cedar Rapids downtown casino is to be granted with a gambling operating license or not. As the regulators approach the vote, they still remain undecided on the matter.
As reported by CasinoGamesPro earlier in November, the commissioners from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) were facing difficulties to make up their minds about the proposals for a new casino license in Cedar Rapids.
The Commission, which is appointed by the state’s Governor and consists of five members, is to make a decision the fact of the three applications filed by Cedar Rapids. The meeting is to be held at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubique.
As reported by The Gazette, one of the member of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, Jeff Lamberti, talked to a number of regulators and there was not a sufficient number of votes to back either one of the possible outcomes. Mr. Lamberti shared that was not an easy decision for them to make.
Richard Arnold, Chairman of the Commission, said that he is still in a process of consideration, by studying reports, and has not make a final decision yet.
IRGC Still Considering Three Proposals
As mentioned above, three applications were filed for a casino operating license. First, there is the Wild Rose Cedar Rapids casino that is planned to be situated next to the Skogman Building. The project is estimated to over $40 million. Furthermore, there are two applications made by the Cedar Rapids Development Group – Peninsula Pacific. The first one of them is for a $105-million casino that is to be attached to the DoubleTree Hotel, which is to be called Cedar Crossing Central, while the other project, Cedar Crossing on the River, is estimated to more than $160 million.
The proposal for the Wild Rose boutique casino, however, has been blamed for violation of the regulations in the region. The proposal originally excluded entertainment and dining areas in order to avoid competng with other businesses in Cedar Rapids. The other two projects – Cedar Crossing Central and Cedar Crossing on the River – feature dining options, and the latter features an entertainment venue as well.
At the beginning of the month, the Commission’s administrator Brian Ohorilko shared that the commissioners were still reviewing the options. Reportedly, he has now lifted the curtain a bit, speaking of the license criteria which also includes the number of amenities and developments, apart from the gambling floor. Mr. Ohorilko shared that no piece of legislation or regulation provides a definition of a “boutique” casino.
A large number of letters have been received by the local commissioners, all of them making an attempt to push them towards a decision. Opponents of a casino expansion in Cedar Rapids call the Commission to reject all applications due to the possible negative impact such an expansion could have on communities and other casinos in the region. Others, on the other hand, oppose a casino license for other reasons, such as ethical and social ones. There are proponents of the different applications, too.