About Us » Public Policy

The Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) monitors legislative issues regarding the gaming industry in Iowa and throughout the country. We advocate not only for the best interest of the 19 state-regulated commercial casinos, but also for Iowans.

Licensed casino gaming is a closely regulated industry intended to uphold a high level of standard. In May 1983, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) was created by the Pari-mutuel Wagering Act to have full oversight of all race meetings and gambling excursions. The mission of the IRGC is to administer the Pari-mutuel wagering and riverboat gambling laws and agency rules, to protect the public, and to guard the integrity of gambling participants as well as the racetracks' and riverboats' gambling operations.

The Iowa General Assembly website provides current information, such as access to the latest calendar year for the legislative session, schedules, bills, legislative laws and other related links and publications.

The following provides more information on Iowa's gaming industry. Chapters 99D and 99F relate to commercial racetracks and riverboat casinos. The others provide information on more general gaming issues.


Referendum Vote Process

Citizens in the counties seeking gaming operations are required to vote on new licenses and expansions; these votes are called referendums. A referendum vote is also required every eight years to continue gaming operations. This process was enacted in March 1994 as a part of legislation that, if approved by a local referendum vote, allows for unlimited wagering and elimination of loss limits for the expansion of gaming in counties where commercial gaming operations exist.

Currently, there are 19 licensed commercial casinos operating in Iowa (all are IGA members). Of the 25 referendums that have taken place, 100 percent have voted to continue gaming within their counties. You can see the history of commercial casino referendums in Iowa Gaming History.

There are also three Native American casinos that are unaffected by referendum votes because they are under a different sovereign nation regulatory structure. 

100 Percent:
Approval of gaming in existing counties

Referendum votes are required every eight years for gaming to continue in a county. In the 25 referendums that have occurred, every county has voted to keep gaming a part of its community.