CASINO IMPACT: Report Shows Industry Upswing

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The economic impact of Iowa’s casino industry has topped the $1 billion mark for the first time since 2008.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission released the 2012 report this week.

Officials say much of the increase comes from the opening of a new casino in northwest Iowa.

The economic impact report shows the casino industry spent about $286 million on salaries and benefits for employees. Nearly $87 million was donated by casinos for charitable causes and non-profit programs.

The report includes information from 18 state-licensed casinos and racetracks.