The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted Thursday to move ahead with plans for a study to find out the impact of expanding the number of casinos in the state. Commission chair Kate Cutler of Council Bluffs says she hopes a study will help them decide on whether they should approve any new gambling licenses.
Cutler says they hope to have a study that’s comprehensive enough that it will answer the questions from the commission, the industry and communities, so any decision on new licenses can be based "a lot of factual information rather than a lot of you know, emotion and conjecture on what would be appropriate and where it would be."
Cutler says they’ve formed a sub-committee of commission members that will put together a basic plan for the study. She says the committee will review the questions, and the commission will review it as a whole and then they’ll put together a request for proposal to go out for a company to complete the study.
Cutler says they want a comprehensive study that can be used in the years ahead. Cutler says several economic and social aspects will be looked at with the study. Cutler says they’ll look things such as the amount of revenue, job creation, money that would go to non-profits, all the things that would help the county. She says they will also look at any possible negative factors.
Cutler says there are at least four communities that are currently lobbying for a new casino. Newton is no longer one of those after voters in Jasper County earlier this month said no to approving a gambling referendum by a two-to-one margin.