Court Rules Commission Can Consider Existing Casinos When Deciding On New Ones

Mar 10, 2017

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission can consider the economic impact of a potential new casino on existing gambling operations, before approving the new casino’s application. That's according to the Iowa Supreme Court, which ruled that commission was acting within its authority.

In 2014 the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission denied an application for a Linn County casino, after two market feasibility studies found a new gambling facility would cannibalize revenue from existing casinos.

Linn County resident Eugene Kopecky sued the commission. He argued the economic impact of other casinos should not have been taken into consideration, as this creates a monopoly in Iowa’s gambling industry.

Iowa's high court sided with the commission. It reasons the Iowa legislature created the commission with the intent of furthering economic development through legalized gambling, and therefore it can consider the impact new casinos have on existing facilities.