Iowa Gambling, Poker and Riverboat Casinos
Iowa Riverboat Casinos - Iowa Casinos - Iowa Casino List
Gambling is very popular in Iowa, and revenue from Iowa?s gambling activities has been a major source of funding for state travel, tourism and infrastructure projects, as well as health and educational programs. In 2004-2005, Iowa?s casinos made record profits of $1.1 billion, and an estimated $263 million was generated in state, county and city taxes.
Many of Iowa?s casino visitors come from Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin and other surrounding states, and Iowa?s gambling industry is very important to state tourism. The Iowa casino industry directly employs around 8,500 people, with many more working on new and upcoming casino construction projects.
Iowa first allowed legalized gambling in the early 1980s with its pari-mutuel Wagering Act of 1983. Following this, Iowa was the first US state to allow legal riverboat gambling, with the first riverboat casinos starting their operations in 1991. Initially the state imposed limits on the levels of wager and on losses, but these were lifted in 1994 to enable Iowa?s casinos to compete with casinos in other nearby states. At this time, legislation was also introduced to allow slot machines to be introduced at the Iowa?s pari-mutuel racetracks. In 2004 it was decided by the Iowa Gaming Commission to allow table games at the pari-mutuel tracks.
Iowa now has thirteen commercial casinos, ten located on riverboats and three at the pari-mutuel racetracks. Additionally there are three Native American casinos in Iowa. Commercial casinos are located throughout the state, and include for example the Isle of Capri Casinos in Bettendorf and Marquette, the Mississippi Belle II in Clinton, the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs, and the Argosy Casino in Sioux City. Apart from the Mississippi Belle II which makes river cruises, the other boats are all moored. Further, in May 2005 state permission was given for another four casinos which will open in 2006 and will be based in Waterloo, Worth County, Riverside and Emmetsburg.
Iowa?s riverboat and Native Indian Casinos all offer visitors a wide choice of gambling activities, including roulette, blackjack, craps and video poker, as well a range of other more specialized games, for example Let it Ride and Caribbean Stud Poker.
There is free admission to all Iowa riverboat casinos and most of them remain open 24 hours a day. The minimum gambling age in Iowa is 21. The Iowa Department of Revenue will withhold 5% of all jackpot prizes of $1,200 or more, but it may be possible to get some of this money refunded by completing a state income tax return. Finally, the Iowa Lottery is another form of gambling which is very popular among Iowa residents, and offers cash prizes from its lotto and instant win games.
Accommodation and transportation details for Western, Eastern and Central Iowa, as well as information on other tourist attractions in the state can be found in the official state tourism websites.
Many of Iowa?s Casinos have hotel accommodations attached, and all offer restaurant and bar facilities.