Cedar Rapids casino gets big step closer to reality

CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County voters passed a referendum Tuesday to allow gambling, the latest step in Cedar Rapids’ years-long quest for a casino.

Unofficial results show the measure carried 54-percent of the vote, paving the way for developers who hope to build a casino in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Anne Parmley of the Linn County Gaming Association, says a casino would be a major boost for area non-profits, who would get a share of the revenues.

Parmley says, “Having the revenues that would be generated by this casino at their disposal to support operations, give them the opportunity to serve more citizens, the needs are expanding.”

State regulators will have the final say over whether a casino can be built and where. The commission overseeing the industry has turned down proposals in Linn County in the past, due to concerns it would cannibalize revenues from other casinos.