Some things improve with time, such as wine, cheese or a certificate of deposit. The idea of bringing a casino to Cedar Rapids is not one of those things. It was a bad idea when originally proposed more than a decade ago, and it remains a bad idea today. The Oct. 4 article, “Investor group wants to bring casino to Cedar Rapids,” drudges up all the “benefits” of a casino while glossing over the negative impact a local casino will have on our community. Besides, as the article states, “state and local programs are already in place to help problem gamblers.” How reassuring.
Gambling is about making money for the owners of the casino. Investors don’t invest their money unless they are promised a healthy return. So when economic development — 360 “quality” jobs — is held up as a reason to have a local casino, don’t be fooled. A local casino isn’t about economic development, keeping money spent on gambling in Linn County, giving people — let alone businesses — a new reason to come to Cedar Rapids, driving more commercial development or making Cedar Rapids a lot more fun. It’s about greed.
I don’t want to deny anyone the opportunity to invest their money where it will generate a return. But when that “investment” hurts people, families and businesses, and will change the quality of life where I live, I draw the line.
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