Casino policy should support free enterprise

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: March 5 2014 | 1:17 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:11 am in

The article in the Wednesday (Feb. 26) Gazette talking about cannibalization of the casinos makes it sound like someone is going to go to the Riverside Casino and take out some of their slot machines and gaming tables.

Yes, a casino in Cedar Rapids will take some revenue from the existing casinos; however, it appears that they are taking in more than $100 million a year. Just how much of that revenue are they sharing with Linn County? If the Riverside Casino would have been sharing more of that revenue, the vote in Cedar Rapids may not have even come up.

If someone wanted to open a steak restaurant in northeast Cedar Rapids, would they be denied a license to operate because they might take some of the revenue from the steak restaurants on the southwest side of town? Whatever happened to free enterprise?

The focus should not just be on a casino in Cedar Rapids taking revenue from the other casinos, but it needs to put more emphasis on how many new jobs will be created and how much more new revenue will be generated. Just because we have a casino in town doesn’t mean we won’t be going to the other ones.

Competition is good, although Dan Kehl (Riverside owner) probably wouldn’t agree.

Russell Marks

Cedar Rapids


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