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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Loss of TouchPlay cripples Iowa Lottery revenue

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Without the now-banned TouchPlay gambling machines, Iowa Lottery profits tumbled this budget year.

The lottery contributed about $35 million to state government programs between July 1 and Jan. 30, compared with about $45 million for the same period a year ago, state officials said. That's when about 6,700 TouchPlay machines were operated around the state.

The ban on the machines became effective last May after public outcry against the games, which look similar to slot machines.

Sales of traditional Iowa Lottery games, such as pull-tabs, scratch tickets and Hot Lotto, were considered successful.

On Thursday, the Iowa Lottery Board spent two hours in a closed session talking about several lawsuits related to the TouchPlay ban.

While most of the TouchPlay machines gather dust in Iowa warehouses, State Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids, was busy this session crafting and introducing a bill that would have allowed the games to be played in taverns and fraternal clubs that are in counties without casinos.

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