A referendum on a new casino for Cedar Rapids is just four weeks away. Opponents gathered over the weekend to discuss their strategy leading up to the vote on March 5. Todd Henderson, with the Just Say No Casino group, says they’re incorporating a slogan from a 1984 Wendy’s restaurant ad campaign.
“We say, ‘where is the beef?’ because there are so many questions out there that are unanswered,” Henderson said. “Where are they going to put the casino? Who are the people or list of investors? And who are they going to have run the casino?” Members of the “Just Vote No ” group are also concerned that small businesses in the area would suffer because the casino would draw away many of their customers.
Supporters of a new casino say they need to see if the referendum passes before entering the process of securing a specific parcel of land. Marcia Rogers, a spokeswoman for the “Vote Yes Linn County” group, has said a new casino in Cedar Rapids would employ 360 people full-time.
If Linn County voters approve the gambling referendum, developers would have to secure a license from the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission. The most recent gambling referendum in Cedar Rapids failed in November of 2003.
By Jill Kasperie, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids