The polls are open in Cerro Gordo County today as voters decide whether or not they want riverboat gambling. Supporters of gambling in Cerro Gordo County, led by former Mason City mayor Tom Jolas, say bringing riverboat gaming to the area will mean an influx of thousands of dollars into the local economy in job and taxes, as well as money supporting local charities. The opposition to gambling in the area is led by ministers who point out the social ills that gambling can cause, including family problems, bankruptcy, and gambling addiction. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission currently has a moratorium on issuing new gambling licenses, but the board has been studying the impact of adding more casinos in the state. That study is expected to be ready for the commission’s meeting next month. Neighboring Worth County earlier this summer also passed a referendum supporting legalized riverboat gambling in the county.
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