Iowa Approves Lifetime-Ban Change

Iowans on the state’s lifetime ban list now may enter a casino five years later, and may sign up to be placed on the banned list for another five years, under recently passed legislation sponsored by state Senator Robie Smith (l.). He said behavioral health specialists believe a lifetime ban discouraged problem gamblers from seeking help.

Problem gamblers in Iowa may now enter a casino gaming floor five years after placing themselves on the state’s lifetime ban list, and may place themselves back on the list if they so choose.

The recently passed legislation was sponsored by Iowa state Senator Robie Smith, who said behavioral health specialists noted people with gambling problems are scared off by a lifetime ban, so they avoid getting help. “When you do that people don’t want to sign up for any ban because it’s forever, and the whole point of this legislation was to get people to sign up and get the help they need,” he said. Smith said behavioral specialists fully supported the measure and felt it would help more Iowans seek treatment.

The new law would allow an individual to re-enter a gaming floor after five years, and be subject to a renewable ban every five years following the initial date, potentially resulting in a lifetime ban.

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