Vander Plaats Opposes Culver, Legislative Attempts to Expand Gambling; “We Don’t Need to Increase State Budget’s Addiction”

BURLINGTON, Iowa – Gov. Chet Culver’s call today for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to approve casino licenses for four more communities is fueled by “his desperation to win another term and his own compulsion to grow state government,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats said today.

Speaking at a campaign stop in this southeastern Iowa community, Vander Plaats also criticized legislative efforts to make Iowa the first state in the nation to legalize in-state internet gambling.

“Taking more money from people hooked on gambling by our state officials isn’t leadership, it’s just plain irresponsible. We don’t need to increase the number of individuals or communities dependent on gambling and we sure don’t need to increase the state budget’s addiction to it, either,” he said. “These moves to allow internet gambling and open casinos in four more places are just two more steps along the path that Terry Branstad set us on in the 1980s when he joined with Democratic legislators to create the state lottery, open casinos and destroy the lives of many Iowans for the sake of generating more revenue for state government to spend.”

Vander Plaats added, “As governor, I would do many things in office different than Chet Culver does. I guarantee you one of them is that I would not go to the Racing and Gaming Commission and beg them to open four more casinos. Our communities need innovative companies that create income for Iowans instead of places that are going to take money from people’s pockets. Chet Culver said today that more gambling is economic development. That just proves again that we need a governor who can really open Iowa for business instead of doing what the past three governors have done, which is invite more and more gambling.”

Vander Plaats cited projections that legalized in-state internet gambling would bring in $11.5 million to the state.

“Are our state officials really so desperate for money and short-sighted that they couldn’t find $11.5 million in savings in a $6 billion annual budget? This is the problem we face with Chet Culver and some legislators. They think the answer is to take more money from Iowans. I think the answer is to cut state spending,” he said. “One way to do it is to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘No more new gambling licenses.’ That’s what I’ll do as governor.”

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