A key legislator says it’s time to consider dumping the requirement that Iowa’s riverboat casinos cruise on the water. State law requires cruises for the floating casinos, but the State Racing and Gaming Commission established the specifics: the gambling boats must cruise at least once a day, for at least two hours, from April 1st to November 1st. Indiana and Illinois have removed cruising requirements for riverboat casinos in those states, and State Senator Mark Zieman of Postville says the cruising requirement is a huge expense. Zieman says cruises up and down the rivers — as well as around West Lake in Osceola — are “a big cost of operating,” especially at a time when the Coast Guard is considering new Homeland Security rules which may require even more security for boats that cruise the rivers. Zieman represents an area which has a floating casino, and he has another reason for hoping to tie the boats permanently to shore.Zieman says a closer connection with land — without establishing land-based casinos — would make it more difficult for the operations to cruise away to another state.
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