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Des Moines Register: Casinos seek influence in Iowa caucus campaigns

June 25, 2015

By William Petrosky 

The nation’s casino industry, which supports more than 1.7 million jobs in 40 states, is betting Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses will provide a good chance to promote its policy agenda.

Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive of the American Gaming Association, visited Council Bluffs on Monday for a caucus-related issues meeting at the Ameristar Casino and spent time in Des Moines on Tuesday to talk about his industry’s “Gaming Votes” initiative in meetings with media representatives.

The association hopes to ensure that presidential candidates visiting Iowa and other battleground states will recognize the positive economic impact of the nation’s $240 billion gaming industry, Freeman said. The organization also wants to inform casino employees about which candidates are embracing policies favorable and unfavorable to the commercial gambling industry.

The Council Bluffs event included a roundtable discussion about the benefits of legal gambling that included U.S. Rep. David Young, R-Van Meter, and Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce President Bob Mundt, an Ameristar Casino manager and a local small business owner.

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