Three companies made pitches to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Thursday seeking to be chosen to conduct market surveys for the gambling regulators. Commission administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says the three made good proposals and the commission will act on the best plan at their next meeting.
“The commission at the October meeting will make a decision, and select one or two vendors to do that study,” Ohorilko says. The studies were first spurred by the passage of a gambling referendum in Linn County in March and a proposal to build a new casino along the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids.
Since then, a gambling referendum failed in Warren County, and another passed in Greene County where a developer would like to build a new casino near Jefferson. “Now that Greene County passed their referendum in August, we would likely have the vendors take a look at that community as well to determine if that market is underserved, and if it impacts other existing operators,” Ohorilko says.
Everything hinges on what the market studies reveal. “The expectation would be that once the vendor or vendors are selected, that they would immediately start doing their analysis and their work,” Ohorilko explains. “We would expect that the vendors would present at the March 2014 commission meeting.”
The commission members would use the information from that March meeting to determine if they would be willing to award any new gambling licenses. The three companies that made proposals are Marquette Advisors Incorporated, Spectrum Gaming Group and Union Gaming Analytics.