Despite a potential moratorium on new casino licenses in Iowa, developers have revealed plans for a new casino in Cedar Rapids.
The $250 million, 160,00 square-foot projected called “Cedar Crossing” will be operated by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E).
The casino also has the support of Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell who has openly asked Gov. Kim Reynolds not to sign a new gaming bill passed by state lawmakers which could delay the project.
If Reynolds decides to sign HF 2497, the casino will be postponed until 2024.
Another casino in Iowa
The Cedar Rapids Development Group and Linn County Gaming Association plan to jointly apply for a gaming license with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The future casino will have many amenities, including a food entertainment venue, a 1,500-seat event center, and several gaming options.
Gaming options include:
P2E President Jonathan Swain said the level of investment in nongaming options makes this project different from others.
“That’s really what’s going to draw young audiences to the future casino. As we look forward in the next 10-years, we think this is a critical differentiator for what we’re doing with this project versus everything else that’s in the state.”
P2E develops casinos across the US, including three in Iowa — Diamond Jo in Dubuque, Diamond Jo Casino in Worth County and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City.
To further help organizations in Linn County, casino supports plan to commit 8% of net gaming revenue to local nonprofits, which could be between $5-7 million per year.
Other aspects of the Iowa gaming bill
One of the late amendments to HF 2497 prohibits wagering on Esports. This means sportsbooks can’t offer bets on popular games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or League of Legends.
Wes Ehrecke, President and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association, had this to say:
“There was seemingly a fair amount of opposition expressed by groups that are opposed to gaming in general. They felt that this was going to be creating more addiction for younger people. It was just important, as part of a bigger bill, to take out a contentious issue.”
Lastly, if Reynolds signs the bill, Iowa sports betting will have additional wagering options. Language in the bill will allow betting on non-sporting events like the Heisman Trophy recipient or future Super Bowl MVPs.
As for online casino games, lawmakers are set to discuss a new bill in early 2023.