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Waterloo Casino Joins Group Opposing New Casino

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WATERLOO, Iowa The Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Waterloo has joined the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in contributing to Just Say No Casino in an effort to defeat the March 5 referendum in Linn County on casino gaming.

On Monday, the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission made public a document that shows the Waterloo casino has informed the commission it has signed a contract with Just Say No Casino to provide up to $150,000 to the anti-casino group's campaign in Linn County.

This report follows one released by the state commission on Friday that shows the Riv erside casino intends to spend up to $1.5 million to defeat the Linn County casino ballot measure.

Steve Gray, a leading investor in the Cedar Rapids casino proposal, said Monday he wouldn't be surprised if the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel also contributes funds to beat back a Cedar Rapids casino.

State-licensed casinos such as Riverside and Waterloo must report expenditures of more than $100,000 to the state commission, though the Meskwaki casino is an Indian casino that does not need a state license and has no such reporting requirements.

The Waterloo and Riverside casinos, which opened in 2007 and 2006 respectively, are funding the anti-casino campaign in Linn County because they believe their business will be harmed if a Cedar Rapids casino is built.

Those concerns are shared by members of Black Hawk County Gaming Association, the nonprofit organization that holds the Isle's license and distributes a portion of casino funds for community projects. However, association members have said they aren't involving themselves in the referendum campaign but will take their case to the Racing & Gaming Commission if the Linn County measure passes and casino backers there apply for a license.

Investors in the proposed Cedar Rapids casino said Monday the best place for a casino is an area across the Cedar River from either downtown or the Quaker Oats plant, with easy access to and great visibility from Interstate 380.

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