Cash-Starved Iowa Looking to License Four More Casinos

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Another state in need of money is asking to expand the number of licensed casinos within its borders.

Always happens. Legislators against gambling, but who need money to balance their budgets, turn to…what else? Gambling.

That’s what is happening in Iowa.

Iowa now has 17 state licensed casinos, but the governor, Chet Culver, is saying that more are needed.

He wants four new licenses approved.

Uh, OK Gov.

Like many other jurisdictions, Iowa has been hit hard by the recession.

Independent auditors believe that if the new casinos were approved, $250 million would be added to the state.

Those are figures that Culver believes cannot be passed up. In addition, thousands of jobs would be created at a time when unemployment rates are high.

So, gaming regulators in Iowa have a decision to make.  They must decide whether expansion would be good for the state. Not surprisingly, those currently owning casinos are not excited about the prospects of more competition.

Four counties are currently seeking the licenses. Webster, Tama, Lyon, and Wapello county voters have all approved new casinos, and are waiting on the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to make their decision.

So we’ll see what happens.

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