Supporters of expanded gambling say they’re excited about the potential economic opportunities a casino can bring to their communities — but there are those who say it’ll do more harm than good. Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, says he was disappointed but not surprised by the Racing and Gaming Commission’s vote Thursday to lift the cap on licenses. He says it appeared to be heading that way after an attempt to keep the moratorium didn’t hold up in the Iowa House. He says, “the handwriting was on the wall when the Senate rolled the House, or you could say the House caved to the Senate’s revision, so everybody knew it was coming back to the commission with a sort of open door to them.” Commission chair Mike Mahaffey was the lone vote against ending the moratorium — saying he think the state already has enough gambling. Hurley says he thanks God for a man of principle like Mahaffey. He says this is not what most Iowans want, but he says “money talks.” Hurley says state leaders couldn’t resist expanding gambling in the wake of a tight state budget. He says, “the government of Iowa is now addicted to gambling, and just like an addict, they’re looking for another fix, a quick fix.” Hurley says crime and corruption is built into the D-N-A of gambling and he says it’s a growing boil of corruption. He says that may be the only thing that slows gambling in the state.He says historically it’s taken a high-level corruption scandal to lance that boil. Hurley predicts that scandal will happen sometime in the near future– he says it always does.
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