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CR Casino Rejection Triggers Lawsuit

Updated: Thursday, July 24 2014, 01:42 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
(CBS2/FOX28) -- Three months after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
rejected plans to build a casino in Downtown Cedar Rapids, a former
Linn County Attorney is suing four commission members over their
decision.
   Gene Kopecky filed the suit in Linn County Court against
IRGC Administrator Brian Ohorilko, President Jeff Lamberti and fellow
commissioners Richard Arnorld, Carl Heinrich and Kristine Kramer. 
  
On April 17th, the IRGC voted 4-1 against the Cedar Rapids project,
known as Cedar Crossing.  The four members who voted against the
proposal cited studies which showed opening so close to existing gaming
centers would "cannibalize" the other casino's profits.
   In the new
lawsuit Kopecky argues that, according to state law, that factor should
have no weight on the decision the commission makes.  He also expresses
concern that by protecting the profits of other casinos, the Iowa
Racing and Gaming Commission could be violating state laws against
restraint of trade and the creation of monopolies.
   Kopecky also
argues that licenses are issued for an individual county and not a
particular region.  He wants a judge to clarify the intent of the Iowa
law on the matter.  Such a ruling, Kopecky estimates, could take more
than a year.  Following possible appeals, the decision would not throw
out the IRGC's rejection of the Cedar Rapids casino project, but Kopecky
hopes it would spur a group to re-apply.
   CBS2 News contacted
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett.  In a statement the mayor said, "Many
people feel Cedar Rapids wasn't treated fairly, especially after Greene
county received a license, the court system is in place to judge
fairness, I am glad he filed the lawsuit."
   Mayor Corbett, although
not attached to the lawsuit, has been a vocal critic of the IRGC's
decision and vows Cedar Rapids will still get its downtown casino.
  
Kopecky was not involved with the group who tried to bring the casino
to Cedar Rapids.  He filed the suit as a citizen of Cedar Rapids.CR Casino Rejection Triggers Lawsuit


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