'Just Say No Casino' Group Still Fighting After Losing Election

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The election may be over, but opponents to a Cedar Rapids casino aren't finished fighting. Linn County voters overwhelmingly approved gambling in Linn County. The vote doesn't seal the deal on the $85 million proposal.

Investors still have some big steps ahead of them, they have four to six months to draft an application for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. From there, it could take anywhere from 6 months to a year before the commission makes its decision.

In 2010, the commission said it wouldn't even consider issuing a new license for four to five years. And now "Just Say No Casino" supporters hope that's still true. "This is the first step in a long process," said "Just Say No Casino" spokesperson Todd Henderson. "The Iowa Racing and Gaming Association said the state is at its saturation point for gambling and last night's vote did nothing to change that."

The state commission would have to change that stance and then approve the "Vote Yes" group's plans. There are a lot of "ifs" and a lot of time in between decisions.

"We feel that it is unlikely that the state will grant anymore gaming licenses, in the unlikely event that they do, there are other communities that are proposing to have a casino," said Henderson.

In the meantime, Henderson said the "Just Say No Casino" group's supporters should "contact their legislators, contact the IGRC directly, and express their views about what they think a casino being brought into their community, their business and impact their families."
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