Cheers at Sierra for casino vote
By MAKAYLA TENDALL
“It better be yes,” Jefferson resident Marilyn Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen was right.
About 30 residents gathered Thursday in the Sierra Community Theatre to hear the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s 3-2 approval of a casino in Jefferson.
While viewers using U-Stream, whose audio failed on the final approval, did not hear the final vote, viewers in the theater clapped and cheered after hearing the approval on WHO-TV’s live stream.
Jacobsen said she was very happy with the final vote.
“Rural Iowa needs a chance. I like the answer that Des Moines casinos are going to draw from their own people,” Jacobsen said about the argument that a new casino would draw from other facilities.
Evan Bunkers traveled from Chicago to hear the vote in his hometown.
“This town needs a big boost. Times are tough and something needs to change,” Bunkers said.
As for the argument that Wild Rose Entertainment’s casino would hurt business for the Emmetsburg-based facility, “Wild Rose wouldn’t come if it would hurt business for their other casino,” Bunkers said.
All, including Keith and Ruby Reinhart, agreed that the casino would bring a much-needed entertainment facility, significantly increased revenue, provide jobs and benefit surrounding counties.
“It is going to help a lot,” Ruby said.