The Racing and Gaming Commission heard Thursday from the two groups that are doing studies on the potential for new gambling licenses in the state. Representatives of both groups said they are using a variety of information to map out the potential for new casinos in the state and the impact on the existing casinos for their final reports that are due in June.

Racing and Gaming Administrator Jack Ketterer says he’s pleased with what he heard. Ketterer says the two independent groups are well qualified and have each done several independent studies and will be able to provide the information to allow the commission to make an informed decision.

Ketterer says the economy will play a factor in the decision. He says it’s a difficult time, and whether Iowa’s gaming industry will continue to be less affected than other parts of the country remains to be seen. Ketterer was asked if the economy continues to suffer, if the commission would have enough information to make a decision on new gambling licenses.

Ketterer says it’s not a question that can be easily answered, and all they can hope to do is to gather as much information as they can to make an informed decision. The commission has asked the companies to include a specific focus of their studies on Webster, Wappello, Franklin and Lyon counties. Groups in those counties have expressed interest in building new casinos.