Linn County casino group not included in Peninsula Pacific acquisition

Churchill Downs Inc. will ‘substantially’ acquire P2E’s assets

Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E), the parent company of the Cedar Rapids Development Group that’s pursuing plans for a casino in Linn County, will be “substantially” acquired by Churchill Downs Inc.

The $2.485 billion deal, announced Tuesday, does not include the Cedar Rapids casino development group, according to P2E president Jonathan Swain.

Under the acquisition agreement, Churchill Downs Inc. will acquire P2E’s assets in Virginia and New York, as well as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2022, pending regulatory approval by agencies including the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

“Our company started in Iowa, many of us live in Iowa, and we are passionate about seeing the long-awaited plans for a casino in Linn County become a reality,” Mr. Swain said. “Our experienced management team is committed to Linn County – and we will keep our promise to build a local casino. The time is right: We are backed by economic studies that show a casino could generate millions of new gaming revenue for the state. A casino will provide much-needed support to local nonprofits and infrastructure, new entertainment options, and more economic development opportunities.”

A specific proposal for a Linn County casino hasn’t yet been announced, but development officials say they plan to site the project in Cedar Rapids. Once announced, the plan would require approval from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which has rejected two previous Linn County casino proposals.