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Casino Video Lottery Expansion to Stop

Iowa’s governor, Tom Vilsack, is strongly considering putting a stop to the Iowa Lottery’s rapid growth and expansion of video gambling machines which look like casino slot machines. In addition to the governor’s views, Iowa lawmakers also showed concern that the casino machines were spreading across the state at a greater rate and amount than they had anticipated. In recent months, the casino machines have been installed at a rate of 100 per week.

It is unclear if there will be direct changes regarding gambling law in the state of Iowa, but if the state legislature will be able to halt the proliferation of these casino machines, many gambling fans will feel the change. The state-run lottery has already authorized 4,600 ‘Touch Play’ machines in Iowa restaurants, taverns, convenience stores, and other retail sites, with thousands more to be installed in the coming months. The government will have to work hard if it plans to stop these casino machines from spreading any more than they already have.

Jennifer Mullin, a Vilsack spokeswoman, said the governor is thinking of asking the Iowa Lottery to temporarily stop installing the additional ‘Touch Play’ games to allow for time for a task force to conduct a study on the machines and the governor’s power to control them. The one key difference is that the software inside the ‘Touch Play’ casino machine doesn’t randomly generate winners like a regular casino slot machine. Instead, all winners are predetermined, and work similar to pull-tabs and scratch-off tickets. In the meantime, casino fans will continue to gamble at these machines until something concrete changes within the legislature.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.