Iowa Is Doing Pretty Well Thanks to Gambling

Iowa’s treasury has been overflowing thanks to the gambling industry, as it received a lot of cash to fill the coffers in 2018. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) published a report recently that shows some really interesting figures, one of them being that the casino industry in the state brought about $1.5 billion to it. This is, by far, the best year for Iowa since 2012. After all the taxes, the share that Iowa’s bank account received was $321.86 million.

What is more interesting at the moment is that the number of people who visit the casinos in Iowa has decreased over the past couple of years. How is it that the revenue from casinos increased, then?

Well, there are a couple of other factors that affected that, and one of the primary factors is that Iowa’s economy has been very stable lately. Up until 2012, everything looked great, but 2013 saw a significant downturn due to the global crisis. People still visited casinos, but the amount of money they were willing to spend on casino games was much lower back then. The economy of Iowa started going up again, and it seems that 2018 was the year the state fully recovered. At the moment, the unemployment rate in Iowa is only 2.5%, which is one of the lowers rates in the entire country. The personal income in the state is up by 5.5% in comparison to 2016.

Iowa has a total of 19 non-tribal casinos, and according to IGRC, the slot revenue from them was $1.31 billion with the final take going to Iowa being $156.80 million. The casino that was definitely the winner in the revenue competition was Horseshoe Council Bluffs venue which is operated by Caesars Entertainment. It offers a total of 1,400 slots and 60 table games which are scattered across a 60,000 sq ft gaming floor. The total amount of tax revenue generated in this casino for the year of 2018 was $37.50 million.

The next casino on the list was Ameristar, which contributed a total of $33.41 million in taxes. Ameristar is actually the only riverboat casino in the state of Iowa, and it offers currently five gaming tables for high-rollers and 51 high-limit slots on the 38,500 sq ft of gaming space.

Iowa actually has a pretty long gambling tradition, and the current state of gambling is as such thanks to the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Act from 1983. Harness racing and greyhounds were introduced only two years after that, and the first riverboat casino was founded back in 1991. Ever since then, the gambling industry in Iowa has been flourishing and thriving. The only time there was a dip was back in 2013, but the state managed to fully recover from that, and the industry is running full speed ahead.

Iowa will also legalize sports betting very soon, it seems. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, signed off on the legislation related to sports gambling. Once up and running, this activity could bring approximately $5 to $10 million annually to the state of Iowa. The IRGC will also be the main regulatory body for sports betting and will oversee it along the way. The Commission still has to make a couple of more additions to the rules before sports gambling officially becomes available in Iowa. Iowa will, therefore, become the 11th state to have approved sports gambling. If everything goes well, the residents of Iowa will have an opportunity to place bets on the new NFL season which start in September.

These States Likely to Propose Sports Betting Legislation

The news about sports betting being legalized all over the US is being spread all around the world. Some states have acted immediately after the federal ban was lifted and introduced this type of gambling activity to their casinos.

However, other states recognize the potential of sports betting, and many of them are working hard to make this activity available for their sports betting aficionados. Let’s take a look at some of the states that are most likely to introduce this activity next.

Washington DC

The capital of the USA will soon make it possible to bet on the Capitals and the Nationals, and the Redskins and the Wizards as well. As a matter of fact, sports betting is likely to be completely legalized in this state by September 1.

They are currently having trouble sorting out who the sports betting provider would be, as Intralot—the provider initially selected—is already the lottery provider for this state. The regular voting process was bypassed, and Intralot was awarded a license that is now under a 60-day review.

IowaSports Betting

A bill to legalize sports betting was introduced recently in Iowa, and it seems that the residents of this state will have an opportunity to place bets on sports very soon as the bill has been gaining a lot of momentum.

A total of 19 casinos, as well as some other gambling-related facilities such as horse tracks, would be able to open sportsbooks sections. They will be able to create online apps, but people who want to bet on sports would have to be physically present at the betting site to register for an app and place bets via their mobile devices.

Indiana

Indiana is very close to legalizing sports betting as Senate Bill 522 has passed through the first Senate committee. This bill is filled with various changes that are related to the gaming laws that exist in this state. Apart from allowing sports betting activities in Indiana, this bill also proposes the construction of two casinos and relocating the existing ones. The bill was created as a response to declining revenues in the gambling industry in this state. In other words, the officials of Indiana want to improve gaming in their state as they fear people might lose interest over time.

Kentucky

The state of Kentucky has proposed a betting bill that will not only allow sports betting, but also pave the way for online poker and even fantasy sports. The racetracks in Kentucky that want to obtain sports betting fees would have to pay $500,000 to obtain a license and then pay a $50,000 annual renewal. The bill allows using apps for betting, but only if you are on site. According to some estimates, sports betting would bring up to $48 million annually for the budget of this state.

Minnesota

Minnesota is still in the process of consideration when it comes to a sports betting bill. They have an act called the Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019,  and its one goal is to establish the so-called “sports pools.”

Just like in Mississippi, this bill would allow sports betting at 18 tribal casinos. However, the 11 federally recognized tribes must play their part, which means that the success of this deal depends heavily on them. If they reach an agreement, there will be plenty of room to explore all the possible option and eventually introduce sports betting to Minnesota.