Consultants told the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission YESTERDAY (Thursday) that the state would be taking a big gamble if new licenses were granted for more casinos in Iowa.
The studies from two consulting firms, hired by the commission to analyze the Iowa market, present a high hurdle to clear for supporters of proposed casinos in Greene and Linn Counties. The reports suggest a casino in downtown Cedar Rapids could generate up to $82.3 million in annual revenue, but would cut revenues at the nearby Riverside Casino by 30-percent. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett is hoping commissioners will ultimately look at the bottom line.
Wild Rose Entertainment wants to build a casino in Jefferson, but the consultants suggest a facility there would also siphon revenues from other gaming facilities. Wild Rose President Tom Timmons noted the revenues at a Wild Rose-owned casino in Emmetsburg would be cut by nine-percent, according to the studies.
The Racing and Gaming Commission is expected to determine the fate of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino in mid-April and the Jefferson proposal sometime this summer.