Commission wants two more Iowa casino-needs studies

Tama – The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission announced Nov. 13 a decision to seek two additional studies on the feasibility of adding more casinos in the state. However, Tama Mayor Chris Bearden indicated he was not convinced more studies of the Iowa gambling industry were needed.

Bearden was scheduled to take part in a conference call Tuesday concerning the commission stance.

On Wednesday, a Racing and Gaming Commission spokesperson identified the firms chosen to conduct the studies as The Innovation Group and GVA Marquette Advisors. Julie Herrick, executive secretary to the commission, said the minutes of that meeting will not be posted until approved by members.

The commission is not scheduled to meet again until January 2009.

The City of Tama, as well as interests in Ottumwa and Fort Dodge have received voter approval seeking state casino licenses.

The vote in Tama County came in November 2006.

Since then, the Racing and Gaming Commission, charged with the issuance of licenses, has failed to take action on whether to even accept applications.

It now appears all three cities will have to await the results of the new studies.