Gamblers who have voluntarily banned themselves for life from casinos, but then reform could regain the right to gamble under a bill unanimously approved Wednesday by the Iowa Senate. Senator Frank Wood, a Democrat from Eldridge, says the Racing and Gaming Commission should have the ability to lift the ban.

Wood says the reinstatement happens only after the person has been away from gambling for five years, and if the person again finds they have a problem, they sign a waiver again and the ban is for life. But gambling critic Paul McKinley, a Republican from Chariton , argued that a spouse could be harmed if a problem gambler returns to the casino floor.

McKinley says he’s know constituents who have a spouse who will take their Social Security check before the other spouse can get it and gamble the whole thing away. The Senate adopted a McKinley amendment to require a spouse’s consent before a gambling exclusion is revoked.

He says that recognizes that one individual’s bad behavior can affect not only that individual, but also their spouse. The bill was generated at the request of a Cedar Rapids area reformed gambler. It now goes to the House.