Legislative leaders met privately with Attorney General Tom Miller over the noon hour today (Monday) to discuss Miller’s review of the state’s TouchPlay industry. Lawmakers last month voted to ban the Iowa Lottery’s TouchPlay machines, effective May 4th.
Legislative leaders asked the attorney general to find out how much Iowa businesses have yet to recoup from their investment in TouchPlay machines.
Just what that dollar amount might be, though, neither Miller nor legislative leaders are willing to reveal at this point. “We gave them some numbers and some estimates on how we can resolve this session,” Miller says. “They need more information and we need to think about some other avenues on how we can resolve this.” Miller believes there is a chance the dispute can be resolved, without a court fight. “Everybody’s trying their best to resolve this,” Miller says.
House Speaker Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, isn’t willing to publicly discuss the options Miller presented either. Rants says lawmakers now need to “think about” what Miller suggested.
Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says the biggest concern is trying protect small businesses from huge losses. “We’re going to continue to discuss this and consider it,” Gronstal says. Gronstal says it “remains to be seen” whether lawmakers would vote to keep the TouchPlay machines running for a few more months to help businesses make back more of their investment.