Iowa gaming commission rejects Cedar Rapids casino plan

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A state gaming commission has again rejected proposals for a casino in Cedar Rapids.

The 3-2 vote on Thursday, Nov. 16 reflected the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s running concerns that a new facility would hurt profits at existing Iowa casinos — particularly those surrounding Iowa’s second-largest city.

The commission also rejected a casino proposal for Cedar Rapids in 2014. That denial was by a vote of 4-1.

The decision came during a meeting in Dubuque, where members discussed the merits of three proposals. Two of the proposals came from Cedar Rapids Development Group. They included a plan for a $196 million Cedar Crossing development on the west side of the Cedar River and a smaller, $106 million casino in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The third proposal from Wild Rose Entertainment would have built a smaller $42 million “boutique” casino downtown.

Dan Kehl, owner of both Davenport’s new Rhythm City Casino and the Riverside Casino and Resort south of Iowa City, was one of the most vocal opponents of granting Cedar Rapids a license.

The commission also rejected a casino proposal for Cedar Rapids in 2014.