The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission held a closed-door session Thursday to get an update from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on the background checks of the three groups who’ve submitted four proposals for a new land-based casino in Sioux City. Commission chair, Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny, says nothing major came up in the private session.
“A lot of times if there was a real potential red flag, that’s worked out before it gets to us,” Lamberti says. “What it really does is provide a little more flavor for who these people really are, from the people serving on the non-profits to the actual applicants themselves. We don’t expect a lot of surprises and typically that’s what happens.”
The commission will visit Sioux City on March 26th to take a look at the four proposed casino sites. Lamberti says the visit is an important part of the process.
“You know when you look at sites on paper, I’m fairly familiar with the Sioux City area so I have a pretty good understanding of where those various sites are, but there is something different about actually being there and seeing them,” Lamberti says, “the access, the size, those kinds of things which really do influence our decision making, and so we really want to touch and feel those sites.”
The commission will also hold a public hearing on the four proposals. Lamberti hopes residents will turn out and give their input.
“What we would prefer is if they are in support of a particular proposal that they tell us why. I’m not terribly interested in people bashing other proposals, I would prefer to hear what’s positive. Because I will tell you at the end of the day whichever one gets selected will be very good for the community,” Lamberti says. “These are four very good proposals, so I want people to focus on the positives. I told people this is a very difficult decision because these proposals are very good.”
The commission will make a decision on the best proposal at its April meeting.