Iowa’s top legislator is defending his city’s gambling industry. Omaha’s Mayor said last Friday he’s glad Nebraska hasn’t gotten into the gambling business like Iowa and cross-river-rival Council Bluffs have. Omaha Mayor Hal Daub said the gambling boats brought “pseudo-investments” and social devastation. House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, disagrees.Siegrist says the two riverboats and the Bluffs Run race track and slot machine casino haven’t caused more problems than their worth.Daub made his comments at a National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion conference in Omaha. Siegrist says Daub has long been a vocal opponent of gambling. Siegrist says many residents of Omaha come to Council Bluffs to gamble despite what their mayor says.Siegrist says there are some social ills associated with gambling, but the industry has been a “net positive” for Council Bluffs, according to Siegrist. Siegrist was out of the country on vacation when Daub made his anti-Council Bluffs comments.
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