A heated debate erupted in the Iowa House earlier this week over a bill that would let non-profit groups host "casino nights" and give away up to $10,000 in prizes. After lengthy debate, the House passed the bill.
Two other gambling-related bills await action in the Iowa House, and House Speaker Pat Murphy expects both bills to pass. "The water and the reference, those are issues that have been pretty heavily lobbied for the last year now," Murphy says. One bill would erase the state requirement that state-licensed gambling casinos that are not hooked to a race track float on water, like a riverboat.
The other bill eases the requirements for local referendums that voters must approve before a gambling enterprise can be built in a county. While Murphy predicts both bills will pass, he isn’t predicting how long the debate will last on those two bills.
"You can’t ever predict how long a debate will take. Sometimes a bill takes five minutes and sometimes it takes three hours. It depends on the temperament of the chamber," Murphy says. "Yesterday the temperament was that they wanted to debate gambling." The two bills awaiting debate in the House passed the Senate with little debate.