Bill Puts Two-Year Moratorium On New Iowa Casino Licenses

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a measure that places a two-year moratorium on new casino licenses — a move the mayor of Cedar Rapids called “disappointing.”

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that an amendment to a larger gambling bill means regulators cannot issue any new licenses in Iowa until June 2024. Reynolds signed the bill Friday.

The moratorium puts on hold plans for a potential $250 million, 160,000 square-foot entertainment and cultural arts complex at the site of now-demolished Cooper’s Mill near downtown Cedar Rapids.

The Republican-led Iowa Legislature this year approved the two-year moratorium on new casinos, citing “gambling fatigue.”

Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell said Reynolds understands signing the bill into law is “a disappointing decision for me as mayor and for the city.”

“I expressed to her my disappointment and reassured her that Cedar Rapids would still be here when the moratorium is lifted in two years,” O'Donnell said.