Backers of the state’s race tracks have won round one, but they’re likely tolose the next round at the statehouse.The Senate yesterday passed a bill which establishes a five-year moratoriumon gambling expansion. The state’s three race track casinos would be barredfrom adding new slot machines for the next three years. Included in thebill is a freeze on the taxes the race track/casinos in Council Bluffs, DesMoines and Dubuque pay to the state. Those taxes are scheduled to rise by10 percent in the next few years. Senator Steve Hansen, a democrat fromSioux City, said the gambling moratorium was ironic in that there has beenno moratorium on lottery games.House Speaker Ron Corbett says the pro-track provision will be stripped fromthe bill when the House considers it as Republicans aren’t interested incutting taxes for gambling casinos.
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