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Eastern Iowa lawmakers push for smoke-free casino in Cedar Rapids

Publication Date: 12/4/2014
  • Author:Tim Rohwer
  • Publication:Omaha World-Herald

Portions of proposed legislation that would open the door to a smoke-free casino in Cedar Rapids concern Commissioner Carl Heinrich of Council Bluffs, who sits on the five-member Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that is responsible for approval of gaming licenses in the state.

Months after regulators rejected a $164 million Cedar Rapids casino development, Mayor Ron Corbett, a former Iowa House Speaker, and eastern Iowa lawmakers announced earlier this week they would seek approval of a new proposal during the legislative session that begins in January.

The plan would create a special license for casinos that don’t allow smoking and grant the first such license to Cedar Rapids. Lawmakers exempted casinos from the state’s indoor smoking ban in 2008, but public health advocates have made it a priority to change that law. Corbett said Cedar Rapids could be a test case to prove whether a nonsmoking casino can be successful...