December Revenue Report Shows Modest Gains For Iowa Casinos

Written By Darren Cooper on January 10, 2023
Slots and blackjack brought in the most revenue for Iowa casinos in December

Not quite a boom, but the holiday rush helped grow the adjusted gross revenue at the 19 Iowa casinos from the previous month according to the December report produced by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission last week.

Iowa’s 19 casinos reported adjusted gross revenue of $142.5 million for December, up almost five million from November. 11 of the 19 casinos saw their revenue rise.

The biggest number in the 8-page report is the $1.3 billion on slot machines in December. That produced a revenue of $127.9 million for the state alone.

The total of $142.5 million is still less than the state’s report in October ($146.5 million) and September ($146.0 million).

The December revenue translates into $28.4 million in state tax. These numbers reflect just the casinos and do not include the state’s growing sports betting markets and affiliations.

Last June, citing the saturation of the market, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill preventing any new casinos from receiving a license until 2024.

Breaking down December revenue numbers

After slot machines, the next biggest revenue producer in the Iowa casino landscape is blackjack, which accounted for $4.2 million, then electronic table games ($2.1 million), craps ($1.7 million) and then Ultimate Texas Hold’Em ($1.2million).

The casino with the biggest revenue for the second month in a row was Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, which reported 19.7 million, followed by the Ameristar II ($15.4 million), the Riverside Casino and Gold Resort ($10.4 million).

The full list of casinos ranked by revenue is below:

  1. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino – $19.7 million
  2. Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs – $17.1 million
  3. Ameristar II – $15.4 million
  4. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort – $10.4 million
  5. Rhythm City – $10.1 million
  6. Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo – $8.2 million
  7. Hard Rock Casino – $8.0 million
  8. Diamond Jo – Worth – $7.8 million
  9. Grand Falls Casino Resort – $7.0 million
  10. Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino and Hotel – $6.0 million
  11. Isle of Capri Bettendorf – $5.9 million
  12. Diamond Jo – Dubuque – $5.8 million
  13. Lakeside Casino – $4.1 million
  14. Q Casino – $3.9 million
  15. Catfish Bend Casino – $3.8 million
  16. Clinton Wild Rose – $2.9 million
  17. Jefferson Wild Rose – $2.8 million
  18. Emmetsburg Wild Rose – $2.3 million
  19. Casino Queen – Marquette – $1.4 million

Slots ruled but which Iowa casinos had the best payouts?

Clearly, with almost 90% of the casino revenue coming from slot machines, Iowa residents know what they like to play when they go to a casino.

Prairie Meadows ($192.2 million), Ameristar II ($142.8 million), Horseshoe Council Bluffs ($127.8 million), Riverside Casino ($97.3 million) and Rhythm City ($89.7 million) were the top five casinos when it came to amount of money placed on a slot machine (coin in).

But were they the best places to win? The Commission report also lists each of the 19 casino’s average daily win on a slot machine. Here’s the full listing in order of the biggest daily payouts in December.

  • Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino – $439
  • Rhythm City Casino – $357
  • Hard Rock Casino – $355
  • Ameristar II – $347
  • Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs – $340
  • Riverside Casino and Golf Resort – $336
  • Harrah’s Council Bluffs – $330
  • Grand Falls Casino Resort – $290
  • Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo – $282
  • Diamond Jo (Worth) – $275
  • Diamond Jo (Dubuque) $230
  • Lakeside Casino – $200
  • Isle of Capri (Bettendorf) – $200
  • Catfish Bend Casino – $179
  • Wild Rose (Jefferson) – $173
  • Wild Rose (Clinton) $171
  • Q Casino – $166
  • Wild Rose (Emmetsburg) $145
  • Casino Queen (Marquette) $105
Photo by PlayIA
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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022. 

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