Iowa Proposes Tax Cuts to Boost Casino Competitiveness


In a strategic move positioned to keep Iowa’s gaming industry competitive amidst emerging external pressure, legislative gears are in motion to potentially reduce the effective gaming tax for Iowa casinos. Central to this endeavor is Iowa Representative Jane Bloomingdale, who envisions a concurrent bolstering of the state’s casinos alongside tax reprieve for individuals and corporations.

Iowa’s gaming landscape, comprising 15 land-based commercial casinos, three riverboats, and a singular racino, has experienced a period of continuous growth, peppered only by a slight downturn in in-person slot and table game revenues in 2023. Most affected by this decline are bordering establishments in Council Bluffs, which now vie with newly minted gaming venues enticing gamers in Nebraska.

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This potential recalibration of the tax framework, encapsulated in House Study Bill 719, could see a phased diminution in the levy on slots and table game revenue, dropping from the current 22% to a more forgiving 19% over the span of three years. The intent is to revitalize capital investment to ensure Iowa’s venues can hold their own against the allure of Nebraska’s nascent gaming attractions.

Indeed, from renovations and amenity augmentations, the casino industry seeks to spruce up the local gambling milieu. Lobbyists like Mark Joyce, representing the Diamond Jo casinos, delineate the challenge at hand—the need to preserve and enhance the appeal of Iowa’s longstanding gaming haunts against the sheen of Nebraska’s new establishments, where a competitive tax rate of 20% already beckons.

Yet, as this legislative path unfolds, Bloomingdale’s bill articulates a future where land-based and riverboat casinos undergo a staged tax lightening, with the racino witnessing a slightly steeper descent. Meanwhile, Iowa’s casinos leverage their lobbying prowess to safeguard their industry, successfully instituting a temporary halt on new licenses—a hold that lifts as mid-2023 dawns.

As the narrative of the Iowa casino tax revision draws to a close and echoes of legislative hallways fade, the broader dialogue on gaming continues unabated, stretching beyond state lines and into the vast digital realm. For those captivated by the allure of gaming, the online space affords endless vistas to explore. And for our Canadian readers in pursuit of the premiere virtual gaming experiences, we at West Island Blog have curated a compendium of estimable online casinos. No longer bound by geography, you can delve into a world of entertainment through our list of the top online casinos for this month, where a meticulous selection awaits to cater to your gaming proclivities. Embrace the convenience and expansive offerings of online casinos, keenly selected to enhance your virtual forays into the realm of chance and strategy.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.