Counties with casinos have higher bankruptcy rates - Saturday 12th of March 2005

A new gambling study points to a link between casino gambling and bankruptcies in Iowa.

A preliminary report on the University of Northern Iowa study, shared with lawmakers today, shows there are more bankruptcies in counties with casinos than in a comparable-sized group of counties that don't have gambling facilities.

That finding dovetails with the perceptions of 44 percent of Iowans surveyed for the study, who believe more bankruptcies have resulted from gambling. They outnumber the 30 percent who say that hasn't happened.

The preliminary report on the socioeconomic impact of gambling on Iowans also shows there is more crime in the 10 counties with casinos than in the "control group" of counties.

Authors of the study aren't ready to conclude, however, that crime is greater because of gambling. They note the crime disparity has existed since the start of casino gambling in 1991.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission last week concluded two days of presentations from gambling company executives and community leaders regarding the merits of 10 additional proposed casinos

The commission is expected to decide May 11 whether to approve or reject license requests.
 

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