Cedar Rapids Casino Vote Will Be Set Today

Casino industry professionals browse through the newest slot machines on display at the Global Gaming Expo, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, in Las Vegas. Casino revenues have increased this year in 18 of the 21 states that allow commercial gambling and, new casinos are opening in several jurisdictions. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


By Adam Carros

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- A proposed Cedar Rapids casino will get an official date with Linn County voters today.

The Linn County Board of Supervisors will meet at 1:30 pm to set a special election date for voters to decide whether to allow a casino in Linn County. Developers submitted signatures to get an initiative on a ballot and requested a March 5th vote. Supervisors informally agreed to that date earlier this week.

"Vote Yes Linn County" began running TV ads this week touting the economic benefits of a casino. The group claims a casino would add more than 600 jobs to the area and generate about $80 million dollars in revenue each year.

A group organized to oppose a casino argues those numbers are premature without any specific details of the size or exact location of the proposed casino. They argue the casino would not create the type of economic growth the city wants.

If voters agree to allow a casino in Linn County, developers will stall face a difficult task of convincing the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to grant them a license for a casino. The commission has expressed concern in the past that new casinos would generate revenue at the expense of existing casinos.

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