WASHINGTON – The Iowa gaming industry employs over 15,000 people statewide, supports $618 million in wages and has a total economic impact of $2.5 billion, the American Gaming Association (AGA) announced today at a Get to Know Gaming event hosted in Des Moines. AGA welcomed local business and non-profit leaders to today’s event which highlighted the productive partnership between gaming and the state of Iowa.
Friday’s event is part of AGA’s Get to Know Gaming campaign, which aims to educate local leaders about gaming’s role as a community partner in 40 states across the country.
Today’s event also marked the release of AGA’s latest report, Casinos & Communities Iowa, an in-depth look at how the gaming industry supports local communities through small business investments, non-profit partnerships and local workforce initiatives. The full report can be viewed here.
“For more than a quarter century, Iowa has benefited from the significant impact of gaming on local communities,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs of AGA. “The economic impact of gaming runs deep in Iowa, with the industry generating over $300 million in gaming tax revenues annually and creating nearly twice as many jobs as the Iowa utilities sector. We as an industry remain focused on engaging with communities, supporting small businesses and creating stable jobs across the Hawkeye state, and the new Casinos and Communities Iowa research demonstrates the results of that commitment.”
“We are proud to call Polk County our home,” stated Brad Rhines, Chief Strategic Officer of Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel. “As you heard today, there is a real commitment in our industry to give back to the communities we serve. Since 1996, we have distributed more than $1.69 billion throughout the county and state, along with supporting dozens of area non-profits through our grant programs, event sponsorships, and in-kind donations."
Friday’s roundtable in Des Moines included Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association; Paul Czak, vice president and general manager of Ameristar Council Bluffs; Brad Rhines, senior vice president and chief strategic officer at Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel; Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, chief community impact officer, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines; Dory Briles, executive director, Des Moines Public Library Foundation; State Sen. Jake Chapman; and Slane.
About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, as well as suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.