Iowa, "the Hawkeye State," is a North Central state known for its agriculture, scenic trails, fishing, and hunting. With a population of over 3,000,000 and an area of 56,276 square miles, Iowa ranks first in the United States in the production of corn. The capital of Iowa, Des Moines, is a center for insurance, printing, and publishing, with a population of 200,000.
There are a number of Iowa casinos in the state, the majority on stationary riverboats. The largest of the Iowa casinos is the Meswaki Bingo Casino Hotel, a Native American casino in Tama, with 127,669 square feet of gaming space, 1,500 slots, thirty table games, such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, and several types of poker; as well as three restaurants, monthly entertainment, and gaming instructions. Another large Native American casino is the Winna Vegas, with 45,000 square feet, 668 slots, and 14 table games. In addition, the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs is open 24 hours, with 38,500 square feet, 1,589 slots, 36 table games, and four restaurants. There are several other popular Iowa casinos, including Harrah’s Council Bluffs, with 28,250 square feet, 1,212 slots, and 39 table games; and the Lakeside Casino Resort, with 37,480 square feet, 921 slots, and 31 table games.
A smaller Iowa casino is the Diamond Jo, a riverboat casino in Dubuque, open during the week from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. and 24 hours on the weekends, with 17,813 square feet, 776 slots, and 19 table games. The Catfish Bend Riverboat, in Fort Madison, is open Tuesday through Sunday for 24 hours, with 13,000 square feet, 535 slots, and 14 table games. Another Iowa riverboat casino, The Isle of Capri, is open 24 hours, with 24,939 square feet, 1,100 slots, and 24 table games. The Mississippi Belle II, a 10,577 square foot riverboat casino in Clinton, has 506 slots, 14 table games, live entertainment, and Thursday blackjack tournaments.
Iowa casinos provide a great deal of tax revenue to the state of Iowa, which has enabled the funding of many statewide projects. Tourism has grown at a rapid rate along with the demand for services and a gain in employment. Iowa casinos have contributed to the growth of the economy, and the enthusiasm for gambling in Iowa is widespread. The future of Iowa casinos looks bright, with more and more casinos appearing and major expansions being planned.