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Iowa Makes Small Strides In Returning Positive Gambling Revenue

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The state of Iowa was one of the pioneers when it came to the US casino industry. In recent years, however, the industry has struggled due to increased competition and the economic recession of 2008. Casinos all across the country have suffered.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission released figures recently that suggest Iowa casinos may be on the rebound from the struggles. The majority of the state's seventeen licensed casinos experienced increased revenue over the second half of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.

While that is good news for the state, it does not show that the casinos have completely rebounded. Overall, casinos in the state only experienced a one percent increase over the same six month period the year before. It may not be much, but it does show progress, and that has the Commission looking for brighter revenue days ahead.

"It appears that things are not getting worse and what movement there is, is getting better, except for a couple of properties," said Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Jack Ketterer. Before the recession, revenue had never dropped from the previous year since 1993.

Expansion was a possibility last year as a way to combat the declining revenue. Lawmakers, however, decided that adding more gaming options would only spread out the existing gambling money. That would have possibly caused existing casinos to see their revenue drop off even more.

Iowa will now have to deal with increased competition as they try to recover their gaming industry. Many states have legalized casinos in the past decade, and gambling expansion has become a key ingredient in raising revenue for unbalanced state budgets. New Jersey, California, and Florida are now considering regulating online gambling, an idea that was taboo a decade ago.

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