The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission held a special meeting Tuesday and voted to delay the fees due from the 19 state-licensed casinos.

IRGC administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says the fees paid for regulation and to the DCI are normally collected each week. “During this period of time when the industry is closed, the commission is deferring all regulatory fees for the agency,” he says. The DCI has also agreed to do the same.” Ohorilko says the fees are charged to casinos based on the amount of regulation needed.

“The total appropriation is set by the Legislature and then each casino pays a different fee,” according to Ohorilko “That fee is based on a formula that is dependent on the number of gaming agents that would be assigned to the property.” He says five weeks of fees have been delayed until later in the fiscal year.

“Fees range from $2,000 to $3,500 a week for all of the properties. Prairie Meadows — because racing is included — they pay a fee of approximately $14,000 a week,” Ohorilko explains. The casinos are shut down at least through the end of April under the governor’s emergency order.

“Many of then are having to furlough employees — not all — but many. They understand why they need to close and are willing to do it,” he says.  Ohorilko says the operators he’s talked to have the same outlook as other businesses.

“They’re just hopeful like everyone else that life gets back to normal and they can open up — even if it’s on a limited basis,” Ohorilko says. The Iowa Gaming Association says casinos employ around 8,800 people.