State casino economic impact tops one billion dollars again

DES MOINES — The latest report on the 19 state-regulated casinos shows their economic impact on the state once again tops $1 billion.

Racing and Gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko says that includes all the money spent by the facilities. “It is payroll, it’s employees coming from Iowa, it’s goods and services being supplied by Iowans. Obviously, it’s taxes that are being paid in stay in the state, and then additional charitable contributions that are made by the casinos,”Ohorilko says. “And that’s separate from those contributions made by the by the licensed nonprofit partners.” 

He says nearly 92% of spending by casinos is with Iowa companies. “And what’s even more impressive is when you factor out some of the items that cannot be purchased inside the state of Iowa,” he says. “Things such as advertising that may be on the borders and other states, or entertainment, or even slot machines and some of the gaming equipment — then that number increases to 96.8% of spending is being conducted in Iowa.”

Ohorilko says the economic impact is something that can get overlooked. “That one billion number has been fairly consistent for the past several years — the one exception was during the COVID year  — but that has become something that we have routinely seen,” Ohorilko says. 

The report shows an economic impact of $1.077 billion in the last fiscal year.