In a recent debate, Republican Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who’s running for re-election in November, squared off with challenger Democratic state Senator Jack Hatch. Both had different ideas about expanding gambling in Iowa.
Now in his fifth term as governor, Branstad said the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has the sole authority for issuing new state casino licenses. The panel in April voted 4-1 against issuing a gaming license for a casino in Cedar Rapids and stated no new license applications would be considered for three years, barring unforeseen circumstances, to prevent new casinos from cannibalize existing ones.
Hutch said he disagreed with the commissioners’ rationale and said government should not be concerned with protecting existing businesses in regard to economic regulation.