Iowa Casinos Could Ease Licensing Requirements for Employees

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The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is working tirelessly on easing up licensing requirements for employees. 

Iowa Wants Fewer License Requirements for Casino Workers

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is working with casinos licensed in the state on a plan to try and relax licensing requirements for some workers. According to Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko, the commission seeks a waiver for these employees who are not directly involved in the gaming operations. Ohorilko and the commission staff are working with Iowa Gaming Association to formalize the waiver request.

Ohorilko said that the state’s 19 casinos have many employees working in services related to the casino operations. However, they are not necessarily involved in gambling operations. Such employees are golf course attendants, valet employees, restaurant and hotel employees and housekeepers. There are also some tied to the gaming floor, but who could also benefit from changes. These include positions in security and surveillance and handling revenue.

Gambling Labor Market Sees Huge Competitions

Ohorilko said that the labor market is tight at the moment, and there is huge competition in the service industry and this is the motivation behind the employees’ request. He asserts, “The industry cited a couple of factors — one being the difficulty in finding employees right now — and looking for some relief.”

Non-casino employees at these jobs are not required to get a license, but all casino employees need to get a type of license to work there. He also said that there are different classes, depending on the level of the job. 

For instance, a casino general manager would need the highest level of license. Someone who doesn’t work on the gaming floor and is considered a non-gaming employee class would get the lowest license level. Employees would get personal and financial background checks to be sure that there are no issues. The highest level licenses would require the most extensive background checks.

Iowa with a Decrease in Sports Betting in July

In July, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reported a monthly decrease in revenue, with a total of $88.9 million in bets for July, which is a 20% month-on-month decline from $111.2 million. With this decline, Iowa reported a fourth consecutive month with a decrease in sports wagering, and the lowest handle in the state since November 2020.

However, the state has reported an overall annual increase of 288.2% since the total handle in July 2020 was $22.9 million. The daily volume bets were $2.9 million over July, a significant decrease compared to the previous month with $3.7 million in bets daily.

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