Gaming commission goes all in - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gaming commission goes all in


by John Wilmer

ALTOONA (KWWL)--The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is going all in. Thursday the commission decided to accept applications from all five counties looking to land a gaming license. They made no guarantee and also made it clear that in the application each proposal would have to show how their casino would not impact any other casino in the state.

A number of community leaders will continue to fight get their share of the casino's bank.

"We wanted a casino.  We wanted it for a long time.  The Burnett's have put together a fabulous project and the opportunity to sell this again on the benefits of the casino not only to the area, but to the state is something we welcome," said Karen Mitchell of the Franklin County Development Association.

This is Franklin County's second attempt to get a gaming license. They were denied in 2005. 

"We do understand that Governor Culver has indicated publicly that the applications that were there before should possibly be first, but we're going to let the commission look over everyone's equally.  We'll just go from there," said Developer Gayle Burnett.

Recently two state paid consultants created a study that showed any new casino would hurt those already in operation, everyone except Lyon County.

Community members like Jeff Gallagher left at 1:30 in the morning to make this mornings meeting.

"We just feel we have an opportunity to present our case before them and hopefully we can put a case before them that is powerful enough to allow them to think granting an application to Lyon County is the right thing to do," said Gallagher.  

The groups vying for a casino now have until October 1st to get their applications into the commission.

Iowa currently has 17 state regulated casinos that generated about $1.4 billion in revenue last year.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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