Plans for a new casino in Cedar Rapids are getting closer to reality: plans that will make the Cedar Crossing Casino the first in Linn County. With the formal application filed with the state Racing and Gaming Commission last Friday, it remains to be seen whether the striking plans or competing Greene County plans will get their hands on the sole Iowa license that is up for grabs.
Local gambling news has reported that the casino plans have grown from the 118,000 square feet discussed last year to 171,000 square feet, including a much larger car park complete with “skywalk” connecting it to the casino building itself.
The plans are aimed at providing new traffic to the west side and downtown areas of Cedar Rapids as part of the local government’s development agreement. As part of this agreement, the first 20 years of new property tax revenue, from the casino, will be used to pay for the parking and skywalk.
The casino has also agreed to purchase the land for the casino. This will net the city $4 million, while the casino will also pay a percentage of profits, as American gambling laws dictate. Meanwhile, a non-profit board will hold the license, collecting some of the casinos profits to spend on local community projects aimed at regenerating the Cedar Rapids locality.
As this Cedar Crossing Casino moves closer to being built, online casinos in America are due to open, with Delaware’s free play, Facebook based, casino already up and running. While these online casinos could provide competition for the land based casinos, they will only be open to players from within the state lines.
Nevada and New Jersey are due to follow suit, with California lagging behind. More states are expected to pass local amendments in the coming years that make online gambling legal.