State regulators to discuss timeline for new gambling license consideration

By Dar Danielson (Radio Iowa)

The state Racing and Gaming Commission plans to hold a meeting Friday to work out a timeline for dealing with requests for a new gambling license.

They discussed the issue Monday at their first meeting since the legislature’s two-year moratorium on new licenses expired. Racing and Gaming administrator Tina Eick says a market study is one of the first steps. “Based on past history it’s usually been anywhere from a 60 to 120 day process for a study like that to be completed,” she says. Eick says the state requires a 30-day period to take proposals for the study, so it is not known when there could be a vote on a license. “It’s hard to say I would hope that we’ll get some more clarity on those issues on Friday,” Eick says. “Staff will propose a schedule and then we’ll see if the Commission agrees with that and hopefully we’ll know more Friday.”

The Linn County Gaming Association has a proposal for a casino on the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids that has been on hold since the moratorium two years ago. Eick says she doesn’t know of any other casino proposals out there, and it’s now something that can be quickly thrown together. “The written applications are pretty rigorous, they require a lot of detailed information and not just a hope to present something in the future,” she says. “It would require architectural drawings, financing specifics on the number of games, the ownership, the QSO partners.” Eick says all those involved in the proposal would also have to undergo a DCI background investigation before moving forward.

The IRGC will hold an online meeting Friday at 8:30 a.m. to discuss the timeline for considering any new licenses.


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