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Jonathan Swain, the former Las Vegas gaming executive who most recently was involved with Peninsula Gaming, the regional gaming company acquired by Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD), will be part of the team chosen to build a casino in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Swain, and his Peninsula Gaming associates Natalie Schramm and Brett Stevens, form the company called JNB Gaming that was chosen to develop and manage operations if Linn County receives a casino license.

Steve Gray, lead investor for the Cedar Rapids group, said the JNB Gaming team shares the local group’s vision for revitalizing the city’s downtown and riverfront area.

“They have a proven track record of developing and operating casinos that have become community centers and have led the industry in growth,” Gray was quoted as saying.

Linn County voters approved the idea of gambling in Cedar Rapids earlier this year, but the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission still must approve the license for the operation. The Linn County group plans to apply to the state commission in September.

The possibility of a casino in Linn County isn’t generating support from everybody, especially those who have gaming businesses in Iowa.

The critics believe the new casino will siphon business from casinos in Riverside, Waterloo, Dubuque and Tama.

Currently, Iowa has 18 state-regulated casinos and three Native American gaming properties.

Exactly how many casinos the state can support has become a question being asked by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. To better understand the subject, the Commission has authorized a study of the gambling market in Iowa to determine how many casinos can be supported.

Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.

Contact Ray at [email protected].

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