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Des Moines Mayor Criticizes Gambling Machines 2006-01-12
Iowa elected officials have requested that Iowa Lottery´┐Żs TouchPlay gambling machines be removed from retail sites, and that the program be nixed in its entirety.
The Metropolitan Advisory Council of Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties decided unanimously to oppose the gambling machines at a meeting on Tuesday. The meeting included mayors and other city leaders from almost 20 cities.
There are about 4,600 TouchPlay machines in the state of Iowa, generally in bars, convenience stores, restaurants, and popular retailers.
The Metropolitan Authority expressed worry that teenagers are using the machines excessively, even though those under 21 are legally prohibited from gambling in Iowa. Stores clerks, especially in busy retail stores, simply do not have to time to make sure that all users are of the appropriate age, so the law goes unheeded.
"I have had people calling me and stopping me on the street and in the aisles of the grocery store," said Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie. "They say, 'Why did you allow this to happen? Iowa is a moral place. We support our youth. What message is this sending them? What is this doing to our community?' "
(By Keren)