The State Racing and Gaming Commission is set to announce the winners and losers today in the bid for new gambling licenses. The Racing and Gaming Commission gave final approval to lift the moratorium on new licenses on November third of 2003. One week later the commission received ten applications for new licenses from seven counties. After hearing presentations from the applicants, background checks, and the final public hearing last week, a majority of the commission members indicated they favored granting three to five new licenses. Black Hawk County appears to have the best odds — with three applications for casinos in Waterloo. Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley says there’s some tension and anticipation by everyone. Hurley though says he’s not let the anticipation get to him.He says there’s plenty of other things going on in the city that keep him busy, so the wait hasn’t been overwhelming or overriding. Hurley says he’s confident one of the three proposals will win over the commission. He says, “As the analysis and data rolled out, it was pretty apparent that if the Racing and Gaming Commission is driven at all by adjusted gross revenues, and taxes to the state, and revenues to the state, that Black Hawk County should get one of the licenses at minimum.” Fort Dodge Mayor Will Patterson says his Webster County town feels “very confident” they”ll get a license. But he says the last week of waiting has led to a lot of speculation.He says everyone has been anticipating and sitting around and waiting to find out what might happen. Patterson is precise in explaining why the gambling license is so important — he says it’ll bring a steady stream of money into the community. The commission meets at 10 this morning (Wednesday) in Johnston.
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