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Iowa’s Commercial Casinos Salute National Agriculture Week - Significant Increase of Ag Commodity Purchases

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa’s commercial casinos are saluting National Agriculture Week, March 19-23, by highlighting the considerable quantities of agricultural products they serve to patrons annually.  The 17 members of the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) are significant annual purchasers of agricultural commodities such as beef, pork, poultry, eggs, milk and produce.   In fact, in 2006 Iowa’s casinos served nearly 2 million pounds of beef, over 1.5 million pounds of poultry, more than 1.35 million pounds of pork, more than 5.9 million eggs, and over 191 thousand gallons of milk.   Every commodity category experienced an increase compared to 2005; ranging from 13 to 36%.

Iowa farmers and Iowa agriculture are a vital link, not only to the economic success of our state, but also to feeding many people across the nation and world,” said IGA President Wes Ehrecke.  “We hope everyone takes some time to appreciate the many essential resources provided by farmers and the significant benefits of the agricultural industry.  National Agriculture Week is a perfect time to salute the farmer and all those who work and provide services within the agricultural industry,” he added.
Many of these agricultural products were purchased in Iowa and are examples of the industry’s Buy Iowa First program.  Collectively the existing casinos purchased more than 88% in eligible products and services from Iowa-based companies in 2006 totaling over $347 million.  The percentage grew by over 4.5% from 2005 and the significant increase in dollars purchased was partially due to new casinos being built needing considerable products and services during construction and start up.   The impact of Iowa’s commercially licensed casinos continues to be strong in the state as they contributed nearly $1.1 billion dollars to the Iowa economy last year according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming commission’s economic impact report.  As Iowa’s largest tourist attractions, over 20 million people annually visit Iowa’s casinos, which provide a high quality, fun, entertainment experience for their guests, including offering a wide range of quality dining options, shows, and other amenities.   
The IGA is an advocate for its members acting as a viable part of the state’s economy and adding value to the entertainment and tourism industry.  The IGA’s members are: Ameristar Casino Hotel - Council Bluffs; Argosy Casino - Sioux City; Catfish Bend Casino - Burlington/Ft. Madison; Diamond Jo Casino - Dubuque; Diamond Jo Worth Casino - Northwood; Dubuque Greyhound Park and Casino - Dubuque; Harrah’s Casino Hotel - Council Bluffs; Horseshoe Casino & Bluffs Run Greyhound Park - Council Bluffs; Isle of Capri Casino - Bettendorf; Isle of Capri Casino - Marquette; the isle. casino & hotel at Waterloo; Mississippi Belle II/Wild Rose - Clinton; Prairie Meadows - Altoona; Riverside Casino and Golf Resort - Riverside;  Rhythm City Casino -  Davenport.; Terrible’s Lakeside Casino - Osceola; and the Wild Rose Casino and Resort – Emmetsburg.

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