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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Vilsack will sign ban on TouchPlay

Monday, March 20, 2006

Gov. Tom Vilsack said he will sign into law a ban on Iowa Lottery's TouchPlay machines, adding that he would be flexible on how long businesses should have to get rid of the machines.

He is eager to put the debate to rest.

"I think we spent way too much time on this issue," Vilsack said during a conference call from his trade trip in India. "I really wish we could focus on issues that really matter to ordinary folks, the education of their children, their access to health care."

The governor said he understands the motivation that drove lawmakers to enact the ban. Roughly 6,000 have been installed, with another 4,000 in the pipeline.

"Legislators are reacting to the multitude of these machines," he said. "People simply got carried away."

He said lawmakers were expressing the will of their constituents, and that "whatever bill they send down I will sign."

The TouchPlay ban is likely to arrive in Vilsack's office next week. It gives businesses 45 days to get rid of the machines.

A separate measure approved in the House would give them until Sept. 1. That bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

Vilsack said businesses worried about the ban comprise a small part of the state's economy. About 25 places in Buena Vista County sport the machines.

Some candidates for Vilsack's job were critical.

"It was a mistake to move into this. It's a mistake to move out of them until we know what the financial consequences are for the state of Iowa," Mike Blouin said. Chet Culver said the responsible course of action "would be to know more about the potential costs to the state - and to hundreds of small businesses."

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