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Monday, November 2 is going to be a big day around the county, as voters head to the polls to cast ballots for various offices.
But there are also propositions in many states that pertain to gambling and sports betting, which has taken the country by storm since New Jersey won its fight to legalize sports betting in June of 2018.
In Iowa, and more specifically Linn County, voters will have the chance to approve another casino. Question G will ask voters to say yes to a new casino set to be built by The Cedar Rapids Development Group and gaming partner Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.
But the voters have been here before with this proposal: The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected proposals in 2014 and 2017, in part because of the potential impact a new casino in the Hawkeye State would have on casinos already in business, according to IowaGambler.
The landscape has changed greatly since then, and many Iowans are hopeful the question will pass again and a new casino can get built.
In other Iowa casino and sports betting news, the revenue for September was down slightly from the 2021 highs in March, April, and May to $139.7 million. But with the National Football League and NCAA College Football in full swing, October is expected to be better.
Speaking of the NFL, there are no more unbeaten teams, and Iowa bettors have some decent odds to pick from on the futures betting. Right now, Tom Terrific (Tom Brady, for those not in the know) and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the current favorites at +500, with the Buffalo Bills just slightly behind them at +525.
While sports betting has brought in a majority of the money in the Hawkeye State, the Iowa Gaming Association soon hopes that online gaming will be able to match that revenue. Currently, iGaming is not legal in Iowa: it is only legal right now in five states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, and West Virginia.) All of those states have slot machines, table games, and poker rooms operating legally online, and Iowa wants to add its name to that list.
It would be a potentially lucrative turn for the 19 casinos operating in Iowa. If you use New Jersey, which is the current king of legalized gambling, as an example, you can see the massive numbers generated. The Garden State saw just under $1 billion wagered in 2020, and brought in nearly $150 million in tax money. Those numbers are expected to jump in 2021, which shows why the Iowa Gaming Commission wants so badly to have the state legalize iGaming.
Will it happen?
Possibly. But check back for updates on this developing story.
If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.