Blackjack tables are all the rage in the United States. This year both Florida and Pennsylvania passed laws allowing them and other table games to be added to slot parlors, turning them into full casinos. Now Iowa wants in on the action as well.
Recently, the owners of Larchwood Casino, a gambling and golf resort in Iowa, applied for a license from the state to run a casino with blackjack tables. Iowa doesn’t exactly have a sprawling metropolis, but because Larchwood is located near the border with South Dakota, they hope to get some Dakotan business.
In response to the license request, the Iowa Gaming Commission compiled a report saying that nearly ¾ of the money they would make would be from South Dakota residents. According to the report, it is estimated that South Dakotans would spend nearly $55 million at the casino. The bulk of the employees would also come from South Dakota, according to the report, though all construction and purchases related to the business would have to be in Iowa, due to the state’s Buy Iowa First rules.
Those statistics are interesting but what it immediately made me think has nothing to do with Iowa. This report indicates that South Dakota should open a casino. If an Iowa casino would draw 75% of its business from South Dakota, it makes sense for South Dakota to build its own casino to keep those gamblers and their money in the state. Currently the only casinos in South Dakota are on tribal land.
At this point, it’s too early to know anything, since the parties involved are only gathering data, but if Iowa does add blackjack tables to their casino and draw players from South Dakota, it will be interesting to see if South Dakota has a response.