Casino referendum on November ballot - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Casino referendum on November ballot

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- A lot of topics are up for discussion in this year's election, one in particular - casinos in Iowa. Every eight years a gambling referendum shows up on the ballot in counties where casinos operate. Voters have the chance to weigh in on keeping them in business. One group in Dubuque is doing its part to educate voters.

In 2002 voters traveled to the polls in Dubuque County with an extra item on the ballot. It was a casino referendum that gave voters the power to keep casinos in Dubuque. Now after millions of dollars in investments to remodel and rebuild the two casinos in Dubuque, it's time for another vote.

Voters approved the referendum eight years ago.
During the 2010 election this November voters will have to approve it again. Dubuque County and any other counties with a casino will have to re-approve the referendum to continue gaming in the county.

Casino supporters say the referendum has passed by a longshot in past years, which is why the Diamond Jo and Mystique Casinos operate.

Since 1994, the Dubuque gaming industry has grown twice in size.

"This has been a great reinvestment in the community, it drive spectacular tourism numbers for the community which also benefits local retailers, gas stations restaurants. All the way down the line. Gaming really does fuel the economic drive Dubuque has for tourism," Political Action Coordinator Carrie Tedore said.

The group also wants to remind voters of the millions of dollars that go back into the community.

There is some opposition.
Eight years ago several religious organizations came out against casinos on a moral principle. Still, voting records show support.

The two Dubuque casinos says they've attracted 2.7 million visitors in the last year. Voters will see the referendum on November 2nd ballots.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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