Linn County voters overwhelmingly approved a gambling referendum Tuesday by a 61 to 39-percent margin. Developers have plans to build a casino along the riverfront downtown Cedar Rapids if they can get a license from state regulators. Marcia Rogers, spokeswoman for the “Vote Yes campaign,” was attending a celebration party after the results came in.
“Oh we are thrilled, we think this is such a great message to send that Linn County is ready and prepared to have a casino,” Rogers told Radio Iowa. Voters have been bombarded with messages from both sides, but Rogers feels they did a good job of educating voters.
“We knew that we had a big task in front of us, but we embraced it and the community did and we are just thrilled with the way the community said ‘we want the 600 jobs, we want the opportunity to bring the charity money into Linn County and we want the lively entertainment’, we think it is another interesting piece to our community revitalization,” Rogers says.
The last vote in Linn County failed by a six point margin. “We’ve really matured since the last referendum in 2003 and we are ready now to accept it and move forward and build a great casino that is going to benefit everyone and not take away from others,” Rogers says.
She says the margin of victory will be a good statement for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission when developers seek a gambling license.