After revealing in November that it intended to conduct up to two independent market studies concerning the viability of a casino for the Linn County city of Cedar Rapids, the Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission has now revealed that six applicants are to vie for one of the contracts.
According to a report from The Gazette newspaper, the Iowa regulator will be holding a meeting later today at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack And Casino near Des Moines where it is due to hear presentations from the applicants although no final decision is likely to be made before the body’s next official meeting on April 13.
“This is an opportunity for vendors to introduce themselves to the [Iowa Racing And Gaming] Commission [and] provide experiences or reasons why they should be selected,” Brian Ohorilko from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission told the newspaper.
The applicants are to include Las Vegas-based firm Union Gaming along with Marquette Advisors of Minneapolis, which both conducted state-wide analysis in 2014 focusing on the viability of casinos for Linn County and Jefferson County. Those studies predicted that 73% to 81% of any revenues for a Cedar Rapids gambling establishment would likely come by cannibalizing existing business from neighboring venues, particularly the Riverside Casino And Golf Resort in nearby Washington County.
These results led the Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission to deny a casino license for Cedar Rapids although the body later narrowly approved Wild Rose Entertainment’s application to open its Wild Rose Casino And Resort in the city of Jefferson, which lies only about 68 miles from the Prairie Meadows Racetrack And Casino.
White Sand Gaming of Atlantic City is also among those due to be competing for one of the regulator’s viability study contracts as are local companies Strategic Economic Group and Annex Analytics while New Jersey firm Spectrum Gaming Group rounds out the list of contenders.
Whoever is eventually selected will be tasked with predicting whether a casino in Cedar Rapids would prove viable while the Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission is likely to make its final decision on whether to award a gambling license for Linn County after receiving the analysis in October.
As its stands, a pair of firms has already submitted three proposals for a casino in Cedar Rapids including a scheme from Wild Rose Entertainment that would see the operator partner with local developers Steve Emerson and Hunter Parks in order to build the $42 million Wild Rose Cedar Rapids in the center of the city. In competition, Los Angeles-based Peninsula Pacific and Cedar Rapids Development Group have applied for permission to construct the $165 million Cedar Crossing On The River riverfront facility complete with a casino or bring gambling to their suggested $105 million Cedar Crossing Central city-center development.