The head of Iowa’s Racing and Gaming Commission says a gambling-related organization’s purchase of a western Iowa newspaper does not need regulatory approval. The Iowa West Foundation is the non-profit group, which distributes the gambling taxes paid by the two riverboats and the racetrack in Council Bluffs. The Foundation joined with the Omaha World Herald to purchase the Council Bluffs Nonpariel. Iowa Racing and Gaming executive director Jack Ketter was only worried about the Foundation’s tax-exempt status.Ketterer says the Foundation and the gambling license holders apparently have everything ironed out.Ketterer doesn’t know of any other non-profit which distributes gambling money in Iowa considering a similar investment. He says it’s a unique situation where they’re trying to keep local control over the newspaper. Ketterer says they’re trying to keep the paper going until other ownership can be found.Ketterer says the Racing and Gaming Commission may discuss the newspaper purchase, but does not have to approve it.
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