Iowa gambling regulators may consider impact of casinos when deciding on new licenses

Mar 11, 2017 6:00 AM

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the state's gambling regulators may consider the impact of proposed casinos on existing ones when deciding new casino license applications.

The Friday decision upholds a district court judge's ruling in a Cedar Rapids attorney's challenge to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Attorney Eugene Kopecky had sued the commission in 2015 claiming Iowa's gambling law doesn't allow the commission to base its licensing decisions on how much money a new casino might take away from those already operating.

The commission denied a Cedar Rapids casino license after Linn County voters in March 2013 approved a gambling referendum by a 22-percentage-point margin. However, the commission said it would take too much business from other operators.

The court's ruling Friday affirms that using such criteria is within the commission's authority.