Voters in the communities that include the state’s 17 casinos all agreed to keep gambling again in the state required referendum Tuesday. Iowa Gaming Association president, Wes Ehrecke, was happy with the vote totals. Ehrecke says all of the casino counties passed the gambling referendum with overwhelming margins that exceeded their last votes on the issue, as the average vote in 2002 was 74%, and this time they passed with 78.5%.
Ehrecke says voters understand the casinos are important parts of the community. “I believe the citizens certainly did recognize that these casinos are premiere entertainment destinations and that they’re good corporate citizens,” Ehrecke says. He says the casinos provide an economic impact of over one billion dollar each year, as he says they purchase significant amounts of Iowa goods and services. There was no organized opposition against the gambling referendums this time around.
Ehrecke says the overwhelming vote shows it’s time to push again to remove the referendums on gambling that’re required every eight years.
He says they want to go to the legislature and ask them to remove the referendum requirement. Eherecke says the casinos have to be approved for a license every year by the Racing and Gaming Commission and that would be a time when people could bring something up if there were a concern. An effort to remove the gambling referendum requirement failed in the last legislative session.