The American Gaming Association and the Iowa Gaming Association are combining resources to recognize the 25th anniversary of Iowa’s casino gaming industry – a $1 billion economic engine that supports 9,500 good jobs and has become a bedrock industry in the state.
Iowa became one of the first states outside of Nevada and New Jersey to welcome casino gaming when riverboats began operating on April 1, 1991.
“Given its 25 years of delivering big results, it’s no surprise that Iowans are embracing casino gaming,” AGA President Geoff Freeman said.
Since 1991 Iowa casinos have provided nearly 29,000 grants worth $1.4 billion to charitable organizations. The industry has embraced the “Buy Iowa First” program by purchasing an average of 84-89 percent of all products and services from Iowa-based companies.
An AGA survey found the success of Iowa gaming as an economic driver is recognized across the political spectrum. Survey results show 75 and 62 percent, respectively, of people identifying themselves as liberals or conservatives say gamming has helped with economic development and job creation within the state.
Iowa casinos collectively are the biggest single producer of tourism, attracting nearly 22 million people last year to casinos in the state.
Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: .