State commissions two studies to see if more casinos feasible

Iowa state regulators have hired two consultants to study whether Iowa’s gambling industry has room for expansion. The move is seen as a first step toward awarding additional casino licenses in the state.

By a 5-0 vote, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission awarded $106,500 to Innovative Group, of Littleton, Colo., and GVA Marquette Advisors of Minneapolis, to identify “underserved” and “underperforming” gambling markets in Iowa. Based on the findings to be presented in mid-May, the commission could decide in July to increase the number of casino licenses statewide beyond the current 20.

Among locations seeking their own local casino are the cities of Fort Dodge, Ottumwa and Tama; and Franklin and Lyon counties. The commission ordered two studies to get better information on an important statewide issue.