Iowa regulators assess impact studies



In order to decide whether they decide to authorise a new casino in Cedar Rapids, the IRGC assessed recent impact studies for the proposals.

US.- There are three bids to get a gaming license in Cedar Rapids: two from CRDG, the group that already tried to get one in 2014. The other comes from Wild Rose Entertainment and projects a boutique casino, a smaller venue that would, nonetheless, cannibalise between 45 and 56 per cent of the annual revenue from other Iowa facilities, as well as any of the others, a study says.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission held a meeting in order to annalyse if they decide to authorise a new casino in the area and assessed two impact studies, different from each other, but warning on potential cannibalisation from a new venue. That’s why they are trying to determine which report they will side with before determining if they’ll grant any new license: “I think I almost have to say, ‘I believe this one more than I believe this one.’ Not because I think either one is necessarily flawed, but I have to come down on the side of one. That’s different than what we saw three years ago,” commisioner Jeff Lamberti said.

While the commission decides which study they side with, the CRDG have pointed out that their proposal for the west side of the Cedar River will have a cannibalisation impact of around 10 per cent, ans said they’re “very optimistic about what’s going to happen in November.” Wild Rose Entertainment also doubts the cannibalisation rates published in both studies and said their own proposal is the best fit for the area as its a small boutique-style casino project.

After they decide which study they side with, the IRGC will debate on the casino proposals and will vote next November 16.