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2 Reports: New Casinos Would Hurt Existing Ones
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Consultants hired by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to analyze the saturation level of gambling in Iowa say new casinos proposed for Cedar Rapids and Jefferson would get most of their money by sucking revenue from already existing casinos.
The Des Moines Register reports Union Gaming Analytics and Marquette Advisors were hired to conduct independent evaluations of gambling in Iowa, which has 18 state-regulated casinos.
The studies were designed to help commissioners decide whether to approve a proposed $165 million Cedar Rapids casino and a $40 million complex in Jefferson.
The reports, released Tuesday, say casinos in Riverside, Altoona, and Emmetsburg would lose millions of dollars to the new ones.
The companies proposing new casinos say they remain confident the impact on existing casinos would be insignificant.
Statement from Cedar Rapids Development Group Chariman, Steve Gray:
We stand by our study. Our proposed investment in Cedar Rapids would yield more revenue for the state and local communities and would not threaten the financial viability of any neighboring casinos.
Surrounding market impact has been predicted in every study for the past ten years and in most cases never occurred. Our study was done by an expert with extensive experience in the Iowa market. And, it is only one factor when considering issuing a license. We continue to believe our project will be beneficial to the state and the second largest city in Iowa.
Statement from Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett:
"We plan on being at the Racing and Gaming Commission meeting next Thursday in Des Moines. We are looking forward to hosting the RGC on April third in Cedar Rapids. We have a great project."