House Speaker Christopher Rants wants a quick legal settlement reached on a deal lawmakers struck last week in the new gambling bill with the owners of racetrack casinos. The bill would allow the racetrack casinos to have table games in exchange for writing off 160-million dollars the state owes the tracks after a State Supreme Court ruling on tax rates.He says the bill as passed in the House fills a substantial hole in the budget. But Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, says he received assurances that the tracks would go along. He says they have letters of commitment from each racetrack promising to forgive the tax judgment against the state. Rants says though, he wants the Iowa Attorney General to move quickly to get the promise written into a settlement agreement.He says it’s nice to have the letters, but he says he’ll feel more comfortable with an actual contract. The deal also sets up a new tax rate for riverboats and racetrack casinos depending on the type of gambling they have at their facilities. Rants says if the deal is changed at all in the Senate, they’re back to square one in negotiating.
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