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Iowa Considers Gambling Expansion by Increasing Licenses

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - As reported by the Chicago Tribune: "Iowa has 17 state-licensed casinos scattered throughout the state, but studies indicate there's room for more and residents seem eager to
  sign off on such expansion.

Voters in five counties have approved referendums supporting new casinos in Fort Dodge and Ottumwa as well as in Franklin, Lyon and Tama counties. Last week, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission began discussing the possibility of new casinos and is expected to make a decision this summer.

Even a leading gambling critic has largely given up his efforts to slow the expansion.

"It won't be until all corners of the state are covered," said Carlos Jayne, a retired lobbyist for the Methodist Church. "There's no way to stop this stuff until we're completely saturated."

Wes Ehrecke, president of the Iowa Gaming Association, said two studies have pointed to areas that could support more casinos, building on an industry that already generates $1.4 billion in gambling revenue and pays $300 million a year in gambling taxes to the state. That's not counting the three tribal casinos that operate in Iowa under different rules..."

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