Lawmakers OK Bill Allowing Lifting of Gambling Ban

Gamblers play the slot machines at Riverside Casino on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Jay Knoll

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved legislation that would give people the option of having their lifetime gambling bans lifted to they could return to state-licensed casinos and play the lottery.

Lawmakers approved the measure 78 to 19 on Monday. The Senate already approved the bill, and it now goes to Gov. Terry Branstad.

Iowa is now one of two states that issues only lifetime bans. People who voluntarily seek the lifetime ban from the Iowa Gaming Association, an industry group, must forfeit any winnings to the state.

Under the bill, people could rescind their decision or seek a more limited ban.

The state's Iowa Gambling Treatment Program reports 3 percent of Iowans develop a gambling addiction.

Once Branstad receives the bill, he has three days to act on it.

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