The president of the Iowa Lottery said expanding the number of casinos in the state could hurt the sale of lottery tickets, reducing the amount of money going to state programs.
Iowa Lottery President Edward Stanek wrote state legislative leaders a memo in November in which he warned that more casinos and expanded table games at racetracks would cut into the lottery's profits.
The Iowa Lottery made $56 million last year which helped pay for education, environmental and public safety programs.
"New casinos and the addition of table games at racetracks in Iowa will create more competition for consumers' discretionary income, meaning more competition for the Iowa Lottery and other businesses in the entertainment industry," Stanek said.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is considering applications for 10 new casino licenses in seven Iowa communities. Decisions are expected in May or June on how many licenses will be approved and where they'll be located.
Some legislative leaders said the lottery's loss from expanded casinos would be small compared to the money generated by new casinos.
"If they approve three or four or five licenses, I see a net benefit to the state of anywhere from $30 million to $50 million," Gronstal said. "The amount that the lottery would lose would be fairly small compared to that."