Organizers of a petition drive for a gambling referendum in Tama County have until Friday to get 903 signatures. Tama County Elections Supervisor Leta Kopri says if they get the signatures, county residents could vote on the issue this fall.
She says they need to submit the petition to her office and then the supervisors would set a vote for November.

If enough signatures are gathered, and the gambling referendum is approve, the next step is to present the proposal to the Racing and Gaming Commission. Kopri says it would probably be 2008 before anything would be done, as she says the Gaming Commission has said it won’t provide any more licenses until then.

Tama City Clerk Judy Welch says the Signature Management Group has conducted a feasibility study a new state licensed casino on Cherry Lake. Welch says if the gambling referendum passes — the city could then start looking at more concrete plans for a casino.

Welch says the next step would be to start negotiations with the management group to see what the group is willing to provide to the city. Welch says there were some 600 signatures on the petition at Monday night’s city council meeting. A new casino would compete with the Meskwaki Native American casino that sits just outside Tama.