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Iowa casino gets voter approval

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa -- Lyon County voters overwhelmingly approved Tuesday a proposed casino and resort that will be located near Larchwood. The $90 million project is slated to include a 100-room hotel, an 18-hole golf course, and 800 slot machines and 24 gaming tables in the casino.

With all nine precincts reporting and a total of 5,961 votes counted -- voter turnout came in at 69.5 percent -- the number of yes votes was 3,706 (62.17 percent) and the number of no votes was 2,255 (37.83 percent). The results remain unofficial until a formal canvassing on Monday.

The casino proposal featured organized campaigns by two groups, Lyon County Citizens for Casino Truth, and Citizens for Economic Growth in Lyon County. The groups were against and for the project, respectively.

Spokespersons for both sides had predicted that the vote would be close, but in the end, support for the casino was fairly one-sided.

Proponents for the project have stated it would create 400 jobs paying an average of $27,000 a year plus benefits. They've also said the resort portion will bring outside jobs into the community, with an estimated $1.5 million of income to be redistributed into the community, including schools, each year.

Opponents cited skewed numbers on salaries and benefits, as well as the potential for an increased number of problem gamblers in the region, in fighting the proposal.