A state gambling regulator questions whether Iowa casinos and race tracks are making the extra effort to hire Iowa businesses for contract work. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has long pressured the state’s gambling industry to use Iowa vendors for food, building materials and other projects. Commissioner Jim Hassenfritz of Sperry is amazed, for example, the Dubuque Diamond Jo couldn’t find an Iowa company to install new carpeting. Hassenfritz says a Burlington company installs carpet all over the country — even in Las Vegas. Diamond Jo managers say none of the Iowa businesses they contacted would use the “double stick” method on the carpeting, which means gluing the pad down, then putting glue on the top of the pad to adhere to the carpet. A Georgia firm’s been hired to do that work. Hassenfritz is urging Iowa companies to make an extra effort to find out what work’s available at the casinos. Hassenfritz owns a John Deere dealership in Mediapolis.
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