Another sign that the pandemic is coming to an end? Iowa casinos are on pace to have their biggest year ever. And that includes before the down year of 2020. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that gambling officials say that pent up post pandemic spending is one reason why casinos are seeing a revenue surge.

Sports gambling is also proving to be a big hit in the state. While it did slow during the month of May, it still earned nearly $115 million. That was enough to push year to date gambling action in Iowa to $1.1 billion with another month to go before the books close on June 30th. The Gazette reports that Iowa's 19 state licensed casinos posted an adjusted gross revenue of $1.434 billion through May. That topped 2020's total by 36%. Of course casinos were shut down for 11 weeks early on during the pandemic.

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The Gazette reports that the real comparison comes when you look at Iowa's gambling numbers from 2019, before the pandemic hit. Iowa casinos took in $1.457 billion that year. Gambling officials say numbers in 2021 are around 7% higher than that, with several locations posting drastically higher numbers for the year. Sports gambling, legalized in Iowa in 2019, continues to be a success. Over $100 million was bet during the month of May.

Gambling officials said they didn't realize the impact that sports gambling would have on the industry, but topping $1.1 billion is a welcome surprise. 12 sportsbooks have been licensed to conduct business in the state, with 14 more in the application process. How much do you want to bet they get approved?

 

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