A consultant says Iowa could support new riverboat casinos. Will Cummings compiled the report as the State Racing and Gaming Commission tries to decide if it should lift a moratorium on new gambling license. He says a number of other states have added much more casino capacity than Iowa in the last eight years, and he says Iowa is far from overcapacity. Cummings presented his report to the commission this morning in Dubuque. He says by measuring Iowa’s capacity against other states, it’s lower down in capacity than it used to be. He says there is room for more casinos, but not very much. Cummings says Cedar Rapids and Waterloo are the two markets which present the greatest potential without taking away gamblers from existing facilities. He says there would have to be a lot of casinos in the more sparsely populated areas to get more revenue from those areas. Cummings says it will be harder for smaller casinos to succeed.He says “size matters” not because people are impressed by larger casinos, but he says the larger casinos can offer more games and people want more choices. Dennis May, state representative from Kensett, is part of a group pushing for a new casino in Worth County. He says they came in lower on the net revenue they could bring in, but he says they think that’s low. He says they believe they could draw money without taking it away from other casinos already in the state. May says a northern Iowa casino would draw heavily from southern Minnesota. He says the whole southern tier of Minnesota counties is sitting there waiting for some place to go. The Racing and Gaming Commission did not take any action today on its moratorium on new gambling licenses.
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