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Iowa Casino Revenue Stays ‘Udderly’ Entrenched In July

Written By Derek Helling on August 15, 2023
holstein cow next to iowa hawkeye state emblem

If you’ve ever attempted to move a 3/4 ton Holstein cow, you know that providing proper motivation is paramount. A cow that is determined to stay in its place can present quite an obstacle due to its sheer mass.

In the same way, Iowa casinos have proven that many market forces are unable to move them. Their revenue from July is just the latest example that their business has a strong element of consistency to it.

Iowa casinos report $150 million in July revenue

According to the latest release from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), the state’s 19 brick-and-mortar casinos kept pace with their previous July performances this year. Altogether, the adjusted gross revenue for the month came to about $150 million. This revenue measures slots and table games win for the 19 casinos.

Like much of Iowa’s landscape, that’s mostly flat compared to previous years. For example, it’s a decline of about $7 million or around 4.5% from July 2022. While that might not be the growth that Iowa’s gaming industry needs to post its first $2 billion fiscal year, it’s a sign of consistency.

By and large, the composing metrics collaborating on that revenue total stayed consistent with past July returns. Admissions were down a negligible 1.8% compared to July 2022, for instance.

Perhaps the only statistically significant difference in July 2023 compared to its predecessors was the amount of fees that casinos paid to Iowa and municipal governments in the state. That total of $24.9 million dropped by almost $2 million (around 7%) compared to last year.

While Iowa casinos held their own during July, the same couldn’t be said for the state’s sportsbooks.

Iowa sports betting win dips by over 5%

In July, Iowa’s regulated sports betting industry reaped over $10.5 million from bettors. That amounted to about 9.6% of the over $109.6 million that bettors plunked down on sports bets using those sportsbooks throughout the month.

While that figure was a very slight increase compared to July of last year, the sportsbooks didn’t fare as well in keeping that money as they did in July 2022. Win dropped by about $600,000 or around 5.4%.

As a result, tax revenue fell around $43,000 year-over-year, equivalent to the same 5.4%, to $713,772. Opportunities to reverse those declines are very near on the horizon. College football is mere weeks away now in the Hawkeye State, as is the 2023-24 NFL season.

Fall tends to be a busier time for casinos as well, signaling that Iowa’s gaming industry might be able to build on its relatively flat July soon. If Iowa does want to achieve its first $2 billion revenue year, it needs to get things “mooooving.”

Photo by PlayUSA
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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