A new study shows Iowa's casino gambling market is nearly saturated.
A proposed casino in Cedar Rapids would generate $81 million in revenue, but cannibalize $59 million from existing casinos by 2017, according to an Iowa Gaming Market Analysis study made public last night. A second study by Union Gaming estimated the proposed casino would take $67 million from nearby venues. Both reports were commissioned by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which will decide in April whether to issue a gaming license for Linn County, where the proposed 'Cedar Crossing' casino would be built in downtown Cedar Rapids. Their findings are in contrast to an earlier study funded by the casino's investors. In a prepared statement, lead investor Steve Gray said the group stands by their study, and does not think their project would impact the financial viability of surrounding casinos. In addition, the two studies for the Racing and Gaming Commission measured a proposed casino in Greene county as taking $22 million from nearby casinos by 2017. The gaming analysis cautioned that Iowa casinos are approaching maximum penetration in the existing market.