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Iowa Gambling Regulators Ponder Casino Moratorium

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa gambling regulators plan to consider whether its time to stop building more casinos in Iowa at a meeting next month after narrowly voting to approve one for Jefferson.

The five-member Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved Thursday in a 3-2 vote the $40 million casino in Jefferson.

It will be the 19th state-licensed casino. Iowa also has three American Indian casinos.

With 3.1 million people, Iowa has 18,000 slot machines and about 470 tables for poker and other games at the 18 state-run casinos.

Two consulting firms hired by the commission say Iowas modest population growth and increasing gambling competition from adjacent states limits future growth potential.

They recommended no more casinos, and commission chairman Jeff Lamberti says that will be discussed at the July 31 meeting in Johnston.