Bill would let Iowa chronic gamblers pick their own banning period

Ban violators would forfeit any gambling winnings to state

The Iowa Senate has approved legislation that would let some gambling addicts choose how long to ban themselves from casinos.

Lawmakers approved the measure 46-2 Tuesday with bipartisan support. The bill would allow reforming gamblers to apply to lift their voluntary ban. Addicts could choose to ban themselves from casinos and the Iowa lottery for five years or for life.

Violators would forfeit any winnings to the state.

Democrat Sen. Tom Courtney of Burlington says he proposed the bill after a self-banned constituent felt he'd overcome his addiction and wanted to try gambling again.

Iowa is one of only two states that issue lifetime bans from casinos.

The state's Iowa Gambling Treatment Program reports 3 percent of Iowans develop a gambling addiction.

The bill now heads to the House.

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