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After Slow Start To 2024, Iowa Casino Revenue Increases In March

Written By Katarina Vojvodic | Updated:
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Win for casinos in Iowa saw a major decline in January. But the numbers started to improve in February and continued to increase in March.

According to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission, the state’s 19 brick-and-mortar casinos collected $164.3 million in adjusted gross revenue in March. As usual, most of the money comes from slots, and March was no exception, as slot revenue accounted for nearly 90% of the total revenue. To be more specific:

  • Slot revenue reached $147.5 million
  • Table revenue was $16.8 million

Meanwhile, Iowa sportsbooks had a good month, thanks to a high interest in March Madness contests.

A little over a month ago, legislators from an Iowa House panel advanced a bill that would lower the state’s casino gaming tax from 22% to 19% by 2027.

Iowa casinos’ March win increased monthly and yearly

Compared to previous months of the year, Iowa casino revenue showed a significant increase:

While the February figure represented a 23% month-over-month increase, the Iowa casino win in March was a 14.7% monthly rise. When compared to last year, the March revenue figure shows a minor annual growth of nearly 2.8%.

Due to relatively high revenue, the state collected $32.3 million in taxes in March. While this figure represents only a 1.1% annual increase, it is 14.8% up from February 2024.

Iowa’s gaming tax is subject to change with a new bill, submitted in February to the Iowa legislature’s House. The bill aims to gradually lower the casino gaming tax, from 22% to 19%, by 2027.

The tax rate cut would be based on fiscal years and begin on July 1, 2024.

The supporters of the law said the reason for the proposed tax rate reduction was to keep Iowa casinos competitive.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino outperforms its competition in March

Looking at Iowa casinos individually, not much has changed compared to previous months in terms of most successful operators. According to the IRGC’s March 2024 gaming report, Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino was once again the top performer, followed by Horseshoe Casino and Ameristar II.

Here’s how much revenue they earned in March:

  1. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino: $22.3 million (16.9% monthly increase)
  2. Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs: $18.4 million (19.6% up from February)
  3. Ameristar II: $18.0 million (up 14.3% monthly)

Iowa sportsbooks’ March revenue shows nearly 40% monthly progress

According to the IRGC’s March sports betting report, Iowa sportsbooks won $18.2 million in revenue from a $272.4 million betting handle (total bets).

March sports betting revenue figure represents an 8.4% annual drop but shows an impressive monthly increase of 33.7% from February 2024’s $13.6 million.

While each of Iowa’s 19 brick-and-mortar casinos offers retail sports betting through a partnership with a mobile sportsbook, Iowa online casinos remain illegal.

Several lawmakers in the state submitted legislation hoping to legalize online casinos in Iowa. Our 2024 casino bill tracker allows you to keep track of these updates.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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