The Iowa House begins debate this morning on a gambling bill that could lead to up to five new gambling operations in the state. Republican Representative Danny Carroll of Grinnell is proposing an alternative to the gambling expansion bill to be debated today. He’ll offer an amendment which would essentially keep the gambling industry the way it is today — forbidding state regulators from issuing new gambling licenses or allowing expansion of existing facilities. Carroll says Iowa has enough gambling, and he doesn’t want to expand the industry. Carroll says gambling “soaks up resources and personal energy that would be better devoted in more fulfilling endeavors.” Carroll says he’s bothered by the idea of having the state license gambling facilities that wind up being too great a temptation for gambling addicts. Carroll says “it just doesn’t feel right” and isn’t creating the Iowa he’d like to see. Carroll says “it seems like there ought to be better ways for us to spend our time and energy — and money.” Carroll says over the past five years, every embezzlement case prosecuted in Poweshiek County — where Carroll lives — has involved someone who stole to fuel a gambling habit. Carroll says gambling causes even more unreported financial woe..Carroll says folks “max-out” their credit cards gambling, but they don’t have to declare bankruptcy, or destroy their family or cause them to lose their job. But he says it does take a toll because that energy, those resources and the money that was wagered is not being used somewhere else. Carroll today will also seek to ban A-T-Ms from the gambling boats and race tracks. The debate on the gambling bill is scheduled to begin just before nine o’clock this morning.
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