Industry » Know The Truth About Gaming

The IGA is committed to communicating accurate and timely information about gaming in Iowa and across the country. We have discovered that the most effective strategy for discussing this issue begins with sound statistical information based on thorough, independent research. 

Catalyst for Economic Development

Iowa's commercial casinos have a significant impact on and add value to the state’s economy and entertainment industry.

  • In 2017, Iowa created $1 billion in economic impact through jobs, purchases, taxes paid and charitable contributions. 
    Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Statement of Economic Impact, 2017
  • In 2017, IGA member casinos utilized the Buy Iowa First program to purchase 84.5 percent of eligible products and services from Iowa-based companies, totaling $239.3 million.
    – Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Statement of Economic Impact, 2017
  • In 2016, Iowa's commercial casinos drew 21.7 million visitors.
    – Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, 2016 Annual Report (page 15), 2016
  • A 2014 Oxford Economics and American Gaming Association study found that in 2013, Iowa’s gaming industry:
    1) Contributed $2.5 billion to Iowa’s economy
    2) Supported approximately 17,000 jobs and nearly $742 million in labor income
    3) Generated $726 million in total tax revenues 
    – Impacts of Commercial Gaming in Iowa, 2014
  • 63 percent of casino visitors leave the property to spend money at neighboring local small businesses and other attractions.
    – Get to Know Gaming Study, 2013
  • More than 83 percent of opinion leaders from jurisdictions with commercial gaming casinos nationwide said that casinos either generated more tax revenue than they had anticipated or lived up to their expectations. 
    – AGA State of the States, 2012
  • "With the revenue received, we've been able to funnel the money to needy areas. There have been spin-offs like restaurants and economic benefits. We're now on the map, and a destination place."
    (Quote from Midwest city council member.)
    – Peter D. Hart Research and Associates, Community Leaders' Perceptions of Gaming Industry's Effects, 2005

Social Impact

Overwhelmingly, Americans continue to see the decision to gamble as an individual right. Belief in the importance of personal choice and freedom underlie Iowans’ support for casino entertainment.

  • The estimation of at-risk gamblers in 2015 is about 13 percent, and this is slightly lower than in 2013. 85 percent of adult Iowans said they have not been negatively effected by others' gambling behaviors.
    Gambling Attitudes & Behaviors: A 2015 Survey of Adult Iowans, Prevalence of Gambling, 2016
  • 85 percent of Americans surveyed believe that casino gambling is acceptable for themselves or others.
    AGA State of the States, 2013
  • Public support of gambling is at an all-time high (57 percent), with 87 percent of voters across political lines stating that gambling is an acceptable activity.
    Get to Know Gaming Study, 2013
  • Crimes against society; which includes drug offenses, gambling offenses, prostitution and weapons laws violations, declined nearly 17 percent from 2006 to 2009. This report allows individuals to compare a county with a casino to others without one, as well as the state as a whole. Research clearly shows the lack of correlation of crime to the proximity of a casino versus other factors that are the primary cause.  
    Iowa Department of Public Safety, Uniform Crime Report, 2006, 2009

Personal Finance

The vast majority of people who visit casinos are financially responsible.

Personal Problem Impact

Treatment for those who suffer compulsive behavior is essential. For treatment information, visit the Iowa Treatment Programs page.

$401.6 million

Amount of gaming tax revenue that IGA commercial casinos generated in 2017.