Iowa casinos against public audits

Operators have files a formal lawsuit to establish the new rule.

The Iowa State casino companies are lobbying to stop publishing the annual audit.

US.- Iowa casino operators have filed a lawsuit to introduce an amendment in the state’s gambling law of 1989. The companies seek to keep confidential the annual audits, as they consider the data is not relevant to measure the financial situation of both the gaming industry and the charity groups which depend on its revenues.

“We have no problem giving that information to our regulators, but it shouldn’t be given to our competitors,” commented Wes Ehrecke, president of the Iowa Gaming Association. The state’s organisation manages the activity of Iowa’s 19 authorised casinos. The lawsuit presented yesterday was signed by 16 of those casinos.

Casino annual audits have been public since the last 30 years and reported the 2015’s total revenue of US$312 million in gambling taxes, of which US$40 million were destined to charity groups. Casino results are deemed by the Iowa government as necessary information in order to establish an annual report on the regional financial stability.

However, licensed gambling operators argued that the information is not of particular interest to the general public. The companies explain that the reports should be considered exempted from an Iowa law that mandates government transparency. So they are lobbying for the amendment that would help with the secret annual audit, as it would be treated as trade secret information.