The House Always Wins: Gambling Comes To Cedar Rapids

Gambling Is Coming (Soon! I Think) To A Town Nearest Me

Okay so roughly a week or so ago I noted that I was divided on whether or not to vote yes for the local casino that had been proposed by a bunch of rich people. What happened over that period of time between then and the March 5th vote was something quite interesting-and also the reason I voted yes.

Nope it wasn’t the endlessly annoying campaign ads, my friends all badgering me to support the casino, hell not even a good honest last minute pitch from some “Vote Yes” group via telephone/my front door (luckily that didn’t happen). What pushed me over to the “Yes” side was the water park proposal. A 30 million dollar water park, which the man behind the Riverside casino would build if us, the people of Cedar Rapids, did not vote yes. Basically it was a bribe, the last act of a desperate man who knew he was beaten. It was also a huge insult to our intelligence. That was the last straw.

So in the end I walked over to my local voting precinct, grabbed a “Voted” sticker (I’m a sucker for those-honestly) and filled in the “Yes” part of the ballot. With a heavy sigh I might add, because neither side really convinced me that their choice was the right one. I’ll remain skeptical about the casino, however it was the best idea anyone’s proposed in a while. And I’m hoping it leads to a new movie theater, or something really cool along those lines. I can hope and dream, too.

Oh there is one major hurdle left: the casino has get a license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. So the will of 61% of the people might not mean anything if the Riverside/Vote No crowd manages to bribe-I mean, convince-the commission to turn down the CR proposal. However all of the casinos approved save for maybe one have had over 60% of the vote in favor of them, so there’s hope there too future and current gamblers. I’ll be monitoring the results, naturally-if the license isn’t approved though the city better have a Plan B in place for something to attract people to Cedar Rapids. I doubt they’ll come up with anything worse than a water park.


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