Without debate, the Iowa Senate Thursday voted to ease Iowa’s gambling laws to make it easier for casinos to stay in business without recurrent public votes renewing their charters. Grinnell Democrat Dennis Black argued for the change, saying the ongoing uncertainty about their future hampers the ability to expand.
"There’s this cloud that somewhat hangs over the heads within the financial community of not knowing for sure if a referendum is going to pass." No matter how many times the gambling operation has been reaffirmed by voters, Black points out there’s always the next referendum ahead.
"Therefore making them, the lending community less likely to proceed with any loans that may be requested for let’s say a hotel-motel complex." Currently voters must re-approve gambling in their county every eight years.
Under the bill, after two public votes confirming support for the local gambling operation, there would be no more. At least one religious group had lobbied against the change. Only a handful of anti-gambling senators voted against the bill, which now goes to the house.