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Vander Plaats calls for removal of TouchPlay lottery machines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2006

Contact: Kristi Dusenbery
(712) 540-6776

Sioux City, IA - “Both urban and rural Iowa have been invaded overnight by casino-style gambling,” Republican candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats said today, calling upon Iowa Lottery officials to remove all TouchPlay lottery machines that have appeared by the thousands in various Iowa retail sites.

“The fact that this was allowed to occur without the approval of the legislature or local communities is unconscionable.  For lottery officials and those who seek to profit from the manufacture and distribution of these games to sneak them into everyday Iowa is simply outrageous.”

If the Iowa Lottery will not comply, Vander Plaats has pledged to seek legislative action to remove the machines.  The Iowa Lottery contends that the TouchPlay devices are not slot machines because their payouts are not randomly generated.

“I am not interested in a debate over semantics,” said Vander Plaats.  “I think Speaker Rants put it best when he said that these machines look to him like slot machines and they look to Iowans like slot machines.”

Vander Plaats is referring to a recent taping of Iowa Press where House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City told a panel of reporters that, “…to me it looks like a slot machine, to most Iowans it looks like a slot machine, and legislators are hearing from their constituents saying, ‘when did we authorize a casino in every community in the state?’.”

“Task forces and blue-ribbon commissions seem to be the best that Iowans are going to get from their elected officials this year,” Vander Plaats said.  “In this case, there is one undeniable and statistical fact – Iowans are going to lose more than they will ever win.”

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