Lina County considers holding gambling referendum

The referendum will be needed to allow a potential casino to move forward.
The referendum will be needed to allow a potential casino to move forward.

A referendum result in favour of licensed gambling in the county could pave the way for a new casino.

US.- Local officials in Lina County in Iowa are contemplating holding a referendum on gambling in the state.

The referendum could allow prospective casino projects to go forward if voters came out in favour of permanently authorising licensed gambling in the state.

The mayor of Cedar Rapids, Brad Hart, said: “It’s the last big city in Iowa that doesn’t have gambling, so I think there really is a market here for someone to do it right.

“The local investors are and will be involved if anything moves forward, and that’s a plus, too.”

If voters approve, potential casinos would need to gain licences from state regulators, but the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has expressed fears over the “cannibalisation” of the revenues of existing properties.

A local investment group, Cedar Rapids Development Group, has a 10-year agreement with the city to gain exclusive support for a casino licence application. The group pays $75,000 a year to the city.

The agreement with the city is not connected to a specific location, and according to Hart, no decisions have been about any potential site.

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