One legislative leader is still holding out hope that lawmakers can come to an out-of-court settlement with the TouchPlay industry.
Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says regardless of what’s going on in court, there’s still a chance lawmakers will move to extend the TouchPlay deadline to September 1st. “I think a number of businesses in this state entered into a partnership with state government in good faith and some of those businesses are significantly damaged, significantly out dollars,” Gronstal says. “Some of them even face bankruptcy.”
Gronstal says the attorney general has brokered a potential deal that would not only keep the machines operating for another four months, but would have the state give up its cut from TouchPlay. That last concession would yield between 25- and 32-million more dollars for TouchPlay operators, according to Gronstal. “A resolution that would provide some assistance, some mitigation of the damages I think is imminently possible,” Gronstal says.
But Senate Co-Leader Mary Lundby, a Republican from Marion, who was instrumental in pushing the TouchPlay ban through the legislature. If the judges reviewing these lawsuits rule before legislators adjourn, Lundby isn’t sure what the legislature’s reaction might be. The judge in Cedar Rapids could issue her ruling as early as Wednesday, according to Lundby, who says it’s too hard to “guage” right now what lawmakers might do — if anything.