A group of investors in Cedar Rapids has signed an agreement with a casino development company for a potential casino riverboat on the Cedar River. The five partners have signed a deal with Grace Entertainment to build a 50-million dollar riverboat entirely with private money. The plan is contingent on Linn County voters approving a gambling referendum on November fourth. Grace Entertainment also owns the Lakeside Casino in Osceola, and casinos in Missouri, Kansas and Arizona. Grace C-E-O William Grace says the Cedar Rapids area is a good location for a casino.He says they’d draw one-point-four million people a year to the facility that would include, meeting space, three or four dining facilities and an entertainment complex. This is the second proposed casino announced for eastern Iowa, as the Waterloo City Council approved plans for a complex there Wednesday. Grace says it’s important for Linn County voters to approve the referendum to have a chance to see the project through. Grace says he believes there will be a new casino license awarded for either Cedar Rapids or Waterloo and he says there’s a lot of money going out of Cedar Rapids. He says it’s time for residents to keep the money in Cedar Rapids. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission still has to remove a moratorium on gambling licenses for either of the eastern Iowa projects to move ahead. The commission could make that decision at their meeting next month.
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