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Iowa study may identify new casino markets

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June 8, 2008

DES MOINES - The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will order a new study to identify new gaming markets in Iowa where the state may possibly issue future casino licenses.

The last study was conducted five years ago and resulted in licensing for new casinos in Waterloo, Riverside, Emmetsburg and Worth County. This study will look at underserved or under-performing markets including Webster, Wapello, Franklin and Tama counties.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has said he believes casino proposals in Fort Dodge, Webster County, and Ottumwa, Wapello County, should be the first to get casino licenses.

Commissioner Diane Hamilton said the commission does not want to over-saturating the market. "It does not do anyone any good if all we're doing is taking the same dollars and they're just going to a different casino," she said.

The study is expected to begin by the end of this year and a final report will be due in July 2009. New licenses would not be granted before 2010.

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