Canada and the U.S. share the world’s longest border—spanning 8,891 kilometers, it trails along the 49th parallel from the west coast to Lake Superior! Not surprisingly, when it comes to travel, the U.S. is a prime destination for Canadian tourists.
Each year, Canadians make more than 20 million overnight visits to the U.S. And every year, a growing number of Canadians visit casinos in one of the 23 U.S. states that currently have commercial casinos. Below are the final five states in our list of the top 10 U.S. states for commercial gambling by revenue.
5 Prime U.S. States for Commercial Gambling
If you build it, they will come. Iowa first legalized casinos in 1989 with the first one opening its doors in 1991. Each year, tourists to Iowa spend approximately $1.4 billion at Iowa’s 18 casinos, generating $726 million in taxes.1 The riverboat, traditional land-based casinos, as well as racetrack casinos with slots and gaming tables are located throughout the state.
If bigger is better, then you will love the Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs. Located in Council Bluffs, which is just east of Omaha, the Horseshoe Casino spans 60,000 square feet and has over 1,600 slots and video poker machines, 73 table games and an 18-table poker room where you can play Texas hold’em, Omaha and seven card stud.2 If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, the Hilton Garden Inn Omaha East/Council Bluffs is attached to the casino.
The Lakeside Hotel Casino in Osceola is the only riverboat that sits in a lake instead of a major river. Wandering the 36,000-square-foot casino, you will find over 1,000 slot and video poker machines, 13 table games and poker tables. When you’re done, you can stay in the 150-room hotel or 47-unit RV Park.3
Unlike most states, Illinois’ casinos only include riverboats. In 2013, the 10 commercial casinos in Illinois generated $1.55 billion in revenue.4
The Grand Victoria Casino Elgin is a riverboat casino in Elgin located about 65 kilometers west of Chicago. The casino floor covers almost 30,000 square feet and offers over 1,000 slot and video poker machines, 29 table games and a poker room. It also has four restaurants, a lounge and entertainment.5
The Hollywood Casino Joliet is located in Joliet and overlooks the Des Plaines River. Just 35 minutes outside of Chicago, the Hollywood Casino Joliet opened in 2010 and features a 50,000-square-foot casino with 1,177 slot and video poker machines, over 20 table games, and live poker. At the Hollywood Casino Joliet you’ll also find a luxury hotel, fine dining options, and the Hollywood Stadium sports bar and restaurant.6
Missouri first legalized casinos in 1993 with the first one opening in 1994. Like Illinois, Missouri is known for its riverboat casinos. In 2013, Missouri’s 13 casinos generated $1.70 billion in gaming revenue.7
Overlooking the Missouri River, the Ameristar Casino & Hotel in Kansas City has a 140,000-square-foot casino with over 2,200 slot and video poker machines, 66 table games, and 15 poker tables. It’s one of the biggest and most impressive casinos in the country. The Ameristar also has a luxurious 184-room hotel, eight restaurants, lounges, and entertainment.8
Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels is located across from the Edward Jones Dome sports arena in St. Louis. The property features a 75,000-square-foot casino with more than 1,700 slot machines, 60 table games, and a dedicated 13-table poker room. The casino has a variety of dining options, entertainment, a pool, and spa, while the HoteLumière has 294 luxurious suites.9
In 2013, the 13 commercial casinos in New York State brought in $1.9 billion and generated $878 million in gaming tax revenue.10
The Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway is located in Yonkers, just north of New York City. The casino covers 160,000 square feet and has more than 5,000 slot and video poker machines. It also has a wide variety of table games and is the first casino in the country to offer Interblock Baccarat at its mini Hologram five-seat tables. The one-half-mile racing dirt track features live harness racing all year with five race days per week. There are several restaurants and bars/lounges with live entertainment.11
Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel is located in Niagara Falls, New York. The 150,000-square-foot casino has over 4,000 slot machines, 100 table games, 16 poker tables and Keno. Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino is also home to one of the largest hotels in Western New York and has received the AAA Four Diamond certificate every year since 2006.12
Mississippi is home to 28 commercial casinos, both land-based and dockside. Many of the state’s casinos are located in the city of Biloxi, which sits on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. In 2013, Mississippi casinos brought in $2.13 billion and generated $258 million in tax revenue.13
The Beau Rivage Resort and Casino is a 4-star resort in Biloxi. The 85,000-square-foot casino has more than 2,000 slot machines, 110 table games and more than 15 poker tables. After gaming, you can relax in one of the 1,740 luxury rooms, relax in the full-service spa or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants.14
The IP Casino Resort Spa is a 4-star resort in Biloxi. The 70,000-square-foot casino has 1,700 table games, 60 table games and a 13-table poker room. Winner of the AAA Four Diamond award—the 1,100-room IP Casino Resort Spa towers 32 stories over the Back Bay of Biloxi. The IP Casino Resort Spa features live entertainment, restaurants and a first-class spa. It also offers specialized golf packages.15
U.S. Casino Winnings Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
If you’ve visited the United States and won a significant amount of money gambling (typically over $1,200) you need to understand your country’s tax treaty laws with the United States, as your gaming and pari-mutuel winnings are subject to a 30% withholding tax by the IRS.
But if you live in country such as Canada, that has signed a U.S. tax treaty, you may be eligible for a refund.
Countries that do not have a U.S. tax treaty but might qualify for a refund, include: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and UAE. Based on a recent court case, winners from these countries may qualify for a refund if they meet certain criteria.
RMS is the Easiest, Fastest Way to Get Your Money Back
If you’ve been to the U.S. and had 30% of your winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest.
Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS.
We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund. Contact us today!
1. “Iowa,” gettoknowgaming.com web site; http://www.gettoknowgaming.org/sites/default/files/AGA_FactSheet_Iowa_3.pdf
2. “Casino,” Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino web site; https://www.caesars.com/horseshoe-council-bluffs/casino
3. “Lakeside Hotel Casino,” Lakeside Hotel Casino web site; http://www.lakesidehotelcasino.com/
4. “Illinois,” gettoknowgaming.com web site; http://www.gettoknowgaming.org/sites/default/files/AGA_FactSheet_Illinois%20%281%29.pdf
5. “The Casino at GVC,” Grand Victoria Casino web site; http://www.grandvictoriacasino.com/casino/
6. “Hollywood Casino Joliet,” Hollywood Casino Joliet web site; http://www.hollywoodcasinojoliet.com/
7. “Missouri,” gettoknowgaming.com web site; http://www.gettoknowgaming.org/sites/default/files/AGA_FactSheet_Missouri_4.pdf
8. “Ameristar,” Ameristar Casino Hotel web site; http://www.ameristar.com/
9. “Lumiere Place,” Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel web site; http://lumiereplace.com/
10. “New York,” gettoknowgaming.com web site; http://www.gettoknowgaming.org/sites/default/files/AGA_FactSheet_NewYork_4.pdf
11. “Empire City Casino,” Empire City Casino web site; http://www.empirecitycasinony.mcjr.net/
12. “Seneca Niagara Casino,” Seneca Niagara Casino web site; http://www.senecaniagaracasino.com/
13. “Mississippi,” gettoknowgaming.com web site; http://www.gettoknowgaming.org/sites/default/files/AGA_FactSheet_Mississippi..pdf
14. “Beau Rivage Resort and Casino,” Beau Rivage Resort and Casino web site; http://www.beaurivage.com/
15. “IP Casino and Resort,” IP Casino Resort Spa web site; http://www.ipbiloxi.com/