The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission heard today from a Cedar Rapids attorney who says the commission was wrong to deny Linn County a gambling license for a proposed casino in Cedar Rapids. Eugene Kopecky had sued in district court, but a judge ruled he had not exhausted his appeals to the commission, and sent him back to the IRGC.
The commission went into closed session after hearing from Kopecky. Commission chair, Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny talked about the issue afterward.
“Mr. Kopecky’s petition was asking us to determine whether or not we had violated or if we have to grant a license to a county that has approved a referendum. The second part was whether we had adopted any rules that are inconsistent with Iowa law. Of course we don’t believe we have,” Lamberti says.
Lamberti says they will move to the next step. “We directed the Attorney General to prepare an order in answer to his petition that we can adopt at a later date,” Lamberti explains. The commission has stated in the past they believe they acted properly in not awarding the license, and Lamberti says that has not changed.
“Essentially what we said is we believe the commission does have authority to take into account the impact on other existing facilities in determining whether or not to grant a license. And that we have not adopted rules that are in excess of that power,” Lamberti says.
The commission met today in Sioux City.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)