Question whether owner returns share

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: April 3 2014 | 3:14 pm - Updated: 7 April 2014 | 3:09 pm in

I have served on the board of directors of a local non-profit human service agency for 40 years and counting, and I have seen the generous support the residents of the Cedar Rapids area have provided and the services to children and families it enables.

The upcoming (Iowa Racing and Gaming) commission vote makes me wonder whether Riverside Casino, an opponent of Cedar Crossing Casino, was one of the generous contributors to which I referred. Riverside Casino has argued that the Cedar Rapids area represents a substantial part of its share of the gambling market, that if Cedar Crossing is licensed it will cannibalize its Cedar Rapids market share.

Surely, if that claim is true, then as the recipient of public trust in the form of a monopoly, a responsible Riverside Casino might feel obligated to return “the Cedar Rapids share” of those profits in community dues. If it has not done that, at a minimum, it is a reason to question the validity of Dan Kehl’s expert’s projections of gambling revenue to be lost from Riverside Casino if Cedar Crossing is licensed. I think it also would constitute an appropriate criterion for those who will be voting on Cedar Crossing’s application for licensure.

Perhaps Kehl would be willing to share his actual contributions to our community and the percentage they represent of Riverside Casino’s total charitable giving over the past five years.

Jim Shipman

Cedar Rapids

 

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