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Iowa legislation would allow problem gamblers back on gaming floor 5 years after ban

Mar 22, 2017 9:25 AM

Iowa’s State Senate, heeding advice from behavioral health specialists, passed legislation last week that would allow problem gamblers to enter a gaming floor five years after the initial issuance of a gambling ban.

After that period, gamblers can ban themselves from casinos once again.

Senator Roby Smith, R-Davenport, according to Iowa Public Radio, said that behavioral health specialists believe that a lifetime ban scares problem gamblers from taking a first step towards help. “When you do that people don’t want to sign up for any ban because it’s forever, and the whole point of this legislation was to get people to sign up and get the help they need,” he said.

Gaming Lobbyist Amy Campbell agreed with Smith saying, “After much discussion, we have decided to support this bill which we believe will help connect more Iowans with treatment.”

The bill, which passed the Senate by a 46-2 margin, now goes to the Iowa House of Representatives where it faces an uncertain future. The two tribal casinos now operating in Iowa are exempted from the proposed law.