The Iowa House has voted to let state regulators decide whether there should be new riverboat operations. Representative Danny Carroll, a republican from Grinnell, unsuccessfully asked the House to say enough’s enough.Carrol says “when you gamble, you lose, and when a state gambles, it loses,” He says it has to be that way because the casinos “are not here to somehow many this a better place.” Carroll says “they want the profit; they want the money.” Representative Effie Lee Boggess, a republican from Clarinda, says to forbid new riverboats would give existing boats and race tracks a monopoly. Boggess says if riverboat gambling’s good for the cities that already have it, then “let’s spread the money around a little bit” to counties that’ve passed gambling referendums. Representative Dan Boddicker, a republican from Tipton, says the Legislature should have acted “like a parent.” To those who want gambling in their community, Boddicker says “in looking out for your best interests,” the Legislature should have said no. Representative Deborah Berry, a democrat from Waterloo, says she’s personally opposed to gambling for religious, but voted to allow expansion because it’s what the people of Black Hawk County want. Berry says Black Hawk County “has practically died…economically speaking” and the area needs the development that’d be associated with a casino. The House, on a 54-to-44 vote, rejected the idea of forbidding new riverboat casinos. The gambling bill passed the House this afternoon, after four hours of debate and now goes back to the Senate for consideration of some minor changes in the bill. The Legislation sets roughly equal tax rates for the state’s riverboats and race tracks. And after months of haggling, race track managers have agreed not to force the state to pay the 128-million dollars in back taxes owed the tracks because they won a lawsuit against the state over taxes.
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