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Casinos targeted by Senate bill

Gambling 2If a bill proposed last week in the Iowa Senate is passed, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will have a lot less work to do in the years to come.

Senate File 98, offered by state Sens. Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) and Randy Feenstra (R-Hull), would place a moratorium on new gaming licenses in Iowa. While the bill would prevent new casinos from being approved, it would allow existing casinos to continue to receive license renewals.

The bill does not provide a sunset provision. That means, if it is approved, the moratorium would remain in effect until new legislation was passed to rescind it.

The City of Cedar Rapids – which has been eager to open its own casino – has declared its opposition to SF 98. Several other casino operators, as well as the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and the Polk County Board of Supervisors, have all declared they are “undecided” on the bill.