Could the casino license awarded to Lyon County be the last every handed out by state regulators? That’s a question raised after the Racing and Gaming Commission announced its decision Thursday, awarding one license and turning away three other requests.
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator, Jack Ketterer, says the commissioners were unanimous in saying Thursday that it will be awhile before the issue of new licenses surfaces again.
Ketterer says the commission indicated they weren’t closing the door forever because they can’t bind future commissions, but he says it is clear they believe it should be at least five years before the state even thinks about adding any new casinos. Ketterer says the economy played a role in the commission’s decision. He says the impact of the economy increases the concern about a new casino taking business from an existing casino.
Ketterer says the adjusted gross revenue at the existing casinos is currently down about four-percent, so that is a factor in deciding new licenses. Ketterer says the current economy also makes it tough to find the financing for a new casino. Iowa will have 18 state-licensed casinos once the Lyon County facility is up and running and it will be several years before its determined if that number grows.