In light of the economic impact of the pandemic and the recent gambling expansion in neighboring Nebraska, Iowa state officials may discuss casino tax changes this year.
State Officials in Iowa May Debate on Casino Tax Changes
One of the main reasons why the Iowa legislature may discuss possible changes in casino taxation this year is the future competition in neighboring Nebraska. This was the result of a vote on gambling expansion in Nebraska from November, which called for the opening of multiple casinos. The newly legalized activity in the neighboring state may result in the introduction of new casino venues in Lincoln, Omaha, and South Sioux City.
Considering that the casinos in Western Iowa have been responsible for approximately one-third of all gambling taxes paid in the state, competition coming from Nebraska may have a negative impact on the casino tax revenue. Undoubtedly, Nebraska’s vote on gambling expansion has worried Iowa’s legislature and the gambling industry. Furthermore, Iowa’s casinos have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and are still struggling in light of the significantly decreased revenues.
“That’s an industry that has been hurt severely through the pandemic, as many others have as well,”said Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver in an interview for Radio Iowa
According to Senate Majority Leader, Jack Whitver, who spoke with Radio Iowa earlier this week, a debate regarding tax changes for casinos in Iowa may be up for discussion this year. The Republican acknowledged that the gambling industry “has been hurt severely through the pandemic“.
Furthermore, he added that similarly, the pandemic brought hardships to many other businesses and industries. In conclusion, Whitver said that the legislature would “want to make sure” to save the jobs and keep the industry strong, thus tax changes may be considered.