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Survey planned on the impact of gambling in Iowa

DES MOINES — The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has received proposals from four companies to conduct a socio-economic study of the gambling industry.

Racing and Gaming Administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says it will be a two-part study. “This is a study that will look at socio-economic behavior, specifically if gambling increases crime, bankruptcies, and a number of socio-economic factors. The study also takes a look at economic factors,” according to Ohorilko.

Part of the study is required by law. “The socio-economic part is required by the statute. It’s required every eight years,” he explains. The economic portion of it was something that the commission had requested simply because of all the changes that have occurred since any type of study like this was conducted.”

He says the economic portion will give them an update on the business side of things. “Specifically looking at the overall health of Iowa’s gaming industry. A lot has changed since the last time this was conducted — specifically sports wagering is now new to the state. There is increased competition in the state of Nebraska. So the study will be helpful for the commission and all Iowans in order to understand the market,” Ohorilko says.

He says they hope to choose one of the four companies to conduct the study by their July meeting.

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