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Record Highs Of Gambling In Iowa This Fall

Oct 12, 2020

The state of Iowa is setting records when it comes to sports betting.  The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission says people bet more than 72-million dollars in September, up 43 percent from August.  Iowa's casinos kept about five-million dollars of that money, the state keeps about seven percent in tax revenue.

Lincoln Journal Star

Some of the biggest conservative names in Nebraska politics are lining up against ballot measures to legalize casinos, which they argue would fuel an increase in gambling addictions and related social problems. Opponents of the legalization measure include Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, former Gov. Kay Orr and U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne, a former Nebraska football coach. Voters will decide next month whether to allow casinos at state-licensed race tracks in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Columbus and South Sioux City. In-person, early voting for the general election started Monday.

Grand Island Independent

Nebraska voters won’t get the chance to legalize medical marijuana this year after the state Supreme Court ruled that the measure set to appear on the November ballot is unconstitutional. The court’s ruling was a win for social conservatives, including Gov. Pete Ricketts, who argued that the state shouldn’t legalize a drug that isn’t approved by federal regulators. Justices concluded that the medical marijuana proposal violated Nebraska’s “single subject rule” for ballot measures, which bars activists from bunching multiple issues into a single yes-or-no question for voters to address.

Nebraska’s top elections official says he won’t put three measures to legalize casino gambling on the November ballot, arguing that the language they used was misleading and confusing. The decision announced Tuesday by Republican Secretary of State Bob Evnen means voters won’t get to decide the issue this year unless a court overturns his decision. Supporters of the ballot measures filed an immediate legal challenge, and the dispute is likely headed to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Nebraska's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against a state commission that voted to allow machine bets on previously run horse races despite the attorney general's warnings that the machines are illegal. The lawsuit alleges that the Nebraska State Racing Commission approved so-called “historical horse racing” even after state lawyers advised the commission that the machines violate state law and the Nebraska Constitution's prohibition of gambling.

The economic development arm of a Nebraska-based Native American tribe is once again pumping big money into a campaign to legalize casino gambling. Campaign finance records show Ho-Chunk Inc. is bankrolling the petition ballot drive with nearly $1.5 million contributed so far to the Keep the Money in Nebraska campaign. The campaign would allow Nebraska voters to decide in November 2020 whether to allow commercial gambling at the state’s licensed horse racing tracks in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Columbus, South Sioux City and Hastings. Ho-Chunk Inc.

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — Sports betting kiosks at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona have been shut down while a vendor figures out why they came on in the middle of the night when they were supposed to have been turned off.

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko says surveillance video shows no one at the machines when they powered up overnight recently but William Hill, the company providing sports betting at the casino, has chosen to keep them off until the glitch can be resolved.

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's casino gambling oversight commission has fined an Altoona casino for allowing a 19-year-old man to gamble and drink alcohol there earlier this year.

Ames station WOI reports that documents from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission show the casino was fined $20,000 earlier this month after the teen was allowed onto the gambling floor of Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in April without being asked for identification. Officials say he was in the casino for more than an hour, gambling and drinking.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska voters may decide next year whether to legalize casino gambling in a ballot measure that could tip the number of states that allow commercial gambling into the majority.

Supporters of legalized casinos have launched a petition drive to place the issue on the 2020 ballot with financial backing from the economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

(Des Moines, IA)  --  Iowa is very close to being the next state to legalize sports betting.  The House passed a bill yesterday that legalizes betting on college and professional sports.  Daily fantasy sports wagering on professional sporting events is also legalized in the bill.  The measure now goes to Governor Kim Reynolds. 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A coalition that has for years battled expanded gambling in Nebraska will muster its resources to fight a ballot campaign that would allow casinos at licensed horse racing tracks.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Lack of interest has caused dog racing in Council Bluffs to come to an end.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A group that wants to legalize casino gambling at Nebraska race tracks is ready to start gathering signatures to place the issue on the 2016 ballot.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — State regulators say two more greyhounds have tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, this time at a track in western Iowa.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge to a statewide ballot measure that could allow electronic betting on previously recorded horse races.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A consultant for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is warning that the state's gaming industry relies heavily on Nebraska gamblers for revenue and would lose a lot of business if its western neighbor decided to allow casinos.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Greyhound breeders, casino operators and others are awaiting word on whether Governor Terry Branstad will sign a bill approved by the Legislature that would end racing in Council Bluffs and limit the sport in Dubuque.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Some Iowa greyhound owners are skeptical about a measure approved by the Legislature that would make millions of dollars available to the industry in return for closing one dog-racing track and changing ownership of another.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill that would end greyhound racing in Council Bluffs but permits racing to continue in Dubuque is scheduled to be considered Thursday morning by a Senate subcommittee.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A proposed ballot measure that could allow betting on previously recorded horse races has been passed by the Nebraska Legislature.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa House panel has moved forward on a bill to end greyhound racing in Iowa and pay breeders and employees in the industry up to $70 million.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Dog racing could end in Iowa under bills being considered by House and Senate lawmakers.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska lawmaker who favors legalized gambling is trying to get the issue before the voters again, offering the enticement of a reduction in property taxes.