COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Officials in Council Bluffs say they aren’t worried that a proposed new casino in Cedar Rapids will divert business away from their city’s three casinos.
Local gaming officials say the casino would likely have a limited impact if it gets built, according to the Daily Nonpareil (http://bit.ly/2cFBFh8 ).
“It’s four hours away from our property here, and we really don’t think it would have a negative gaming revenue impact on our casino,” said Jill Beasley, marketing director for Harrah’s and Horseshoe casinos in Council Bluffs.
Beasley said the Cedar Rapids casino might draw visitors from Des Moines, but most of Harrah’s and Horseshoe’s customers come from the Council Bluffs-Omaha metro area.
The proposed $40 million “boutique” casino in Cedar Rapids would have parking on the first floor, a gambling area on the second and commercial office space on the third and fourth floors. It wouldn’t include any restaurants, hotels or other entertainment venues. It would sit across the street from the Double Tree Hilton and Convention Center in the city’s downtown, and provide space for up to 700 slot machines and 15 to 20 table games.
The proposal would require approval from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which has previously expressed concern that Iowa’s gaming market is saturated. Currently, the commission oversees 23 casinos statewide, in addition to three under the oversight of American Indian tribes.
An official speaking for Ameristar in Council Bluffs feels it’s too early for any comment.
Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com