Iowa Casino Exclusion Law Could Change - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Iowa Casino Exclusion Law Could Change

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As the 2013 legislative session nears its halfway point, Iowa lawmakers have a clearer agenda.

This week marked the first "funnel week," meaning most bills that didn't make it out of committee will probably die for the year.

Surviving bills include proposals dealing with schools, public safety, and gambling.

One of the gambling proposals would change the state's current self ban list.

Since casino gambling began in Iowa the state has allowed people to sign up for voluntary self exclusion lists, which last for a lifetime. This new bill could change that time frame.

"Gives individuals the right to rethink the lifetime ban and register for a five year period of time, if they register again for another five year period of time it turns into the lifetime ban," says state representative Cindy Winckler, democrat from Davenport.

She says this new idea accommodates changes that have occurred at Iowa casinos over 20 years of gaming.

"A lot of the casinos have expanded their footprint, and have more amenities there, and some of the casino are imposing the ban on any of the facilities," says Winckler.

Keeping people on the list from golfing or attending water parks if the casinos have those facilities. Winckler says so far the bill has been non-controversial in the capitol. However, the public has not had a chance to weigh in on the bill. Problem gambling advocates say some Iowans struggle with gambling addictions.

"In Iowa it comes out to be about 3 percent of the population, which of the population of Iowa that's a pretty large number," says Gambling Addiction Counselor Megan Vance.

Winckler says people that originally signed up may now live in much different circumstances.

"Individuals that made the decision in the early 90's truly might have changed habits, and or moved to different locations, and are only in the process of visiting gaming locations occasionally."

Anyone removing themselves from the exclusion list can also ask to be put back on. After the second time around, the exclusion becomes permanent again.

Before this bill becomes law, it has to survive the next funnel deadline in a couple of weeks.