Iowa is home to a massive number of popular casinos. Lawmakers in the state are constantly looking for ways to generate more tax revenue and expanding the state’s casino industry is one effective way to do so. It now appears that a new casino in Cedar Rapids could open its doors at some point in the near future.
The US casino industry is expected to thrive this year. Now is a great time to look at what needs to happen for a casino to open its doors in Cedar Rapids.
Let’s get into it.
Commission Weighs the Pros and Cons of a New Casino in Cedar Rapids
Iowa is known for being home to one of the largest casino industries in the midwest. A variety of Native American and commercial casinos are currently up and running here. These properties help to bring in a huge amount of tax revenue for the state each month.
Last year, voters in Cedar Rapids approved a measure to allow a new casino to open in the city. This did not mean a gambling venue could immediately go under construction, though. Members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission need to give final approval, weighing the pros and cons of a property like this one.
This commission met this week and discussed the impact this property would have. They want to ensure it will be fair to the other casinos operating in the state. A report from The Innovation Group seems to indicate otherwise, claiming that opening a new casino in Cedar Rapids will have a negative impact on gross gaming revenue in the East Central Iowa area.
“A Cedar Rapids casino is estimated to result in a $61 million decline in GGR at existing Iowa casinos,” the report states. “Including the GGR forecast for Cedar Rapids in the East Central region, total statewide commercial gaming revenue in Iowa is estimated to increase by $51 million with the addition of a Cedar Rapids casino to the market.”
This review process is expected to take months. An official decision from the IRGC will likely be made before the end of 2022 and the hope is that construction begins shortly after. Stay tuned for updates!
Iowa’s Sports Betting Industry Thrived in 2021
Iowa was the 11th state to formally legalize and regulate sports betting. The first sportsbooks went live here in August of 2019. Initially, only land-based sports gambling was allowed in the state. A law was eventually approved to allow online sports betting here, as well.
2021 proved to be a very successful year for this state’s sports gambling industry. In fact, more than $2 billion was wagered on sports in this state last year. That surpasses the $575 million bet through the state’s sportsbooks in 2020.
Much of this is due to a slight change in regulations toward sports betting. Lawmakers approved a measure last year allowing the registration of online sportsbooks to be done online. In the past, bettors needed to sign-up for an online sportsbook in-person at a retail location.
November proved to be the most successful month of the year for this industry. $287.4 million was bet on sports in November here last year. December proved to be another successful month, with a total of $266.5 million bet on sports.
Iowa’s casino industry thrived last year too. 2022 could prove to be an even better month, particularly if a new casino in Cedar Rapids gets constructed. Stay tuned for more gambling revenue reports throughout the year.
The Midwestern US Continues Expanding its Gaming Industry
There is no doubt that Iowa is home to one of the largest gambling industries in the midwest. It’s far from the only state with a large number of regulated gaming options available. In recent years, the midwest has turned into one of the country’s top regions for gambling.
Illinois is now one of the country’s most profitable sports betting destinations. A large number of profitable casinos are up and running here, too. State officials are now working hard to get a casino built in Chicago at some point in the near future.
Ohio is allowing many casinos to operate throughout the state. Last year, the first sportsbooks went live in this state, as well. This state is known for having one of the most passionate sports fans in the country and revenue from sportsbooks continues to surge here.
There is no doubt that the midwest is turning into a gambling hub. It may soon compete with the one that is quickly developing in the northeast of the country. We’ll be sure to offer more updates on how the gaming industries in these states fare throughout 2022.
Do you expect a new casino in Cedar Rapids to be approved? Will this property be successful? Let us know in the comments section below!