Iowa Sports Betting Holds Steady With Cooling Sports Schedule

Posted on June 14, 2021
Iowa sports betting
Posted By on June 14, 2021

Despite a lighter sports schedule in May, Iowa sports betting kept a steady pace.

The state handle was down a modest 2.9% compared to April, with $114.9 million in bets, according to an Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission release last week. Sportsbook operators generated $6.1 million in revenue, good for a 5.3% hold. Iowa sports betting generated $414,415 in May tax revenue for the state.

Iowa’s all-time handle record was $161.4 million in March 2021. Its fiscal year handle total surpassed $1.1 billion, with one more month to go.

William Hill leads Iowa sportsbook pack

William Hill continues to lead in Iowa, taking more than $37.5 million in bets with its six casino partners.

William Hill’s time at the top, at least in name, is liking winding down. The Caesars Entertainment deal to acquire the brand is complete and a rebrand of the sportsbook is expected later this year.

DraftKings pulled up in second, along with BetRivers, with $33.8 million. The pair share market access through the Wild Rose casino licenses.

FanDuel and BetMGM share access through the Diamond Jo casino licenses, which totaled $27.6 million in May handle.

Remaining online handle:

  • PointsBet: $2.9 million
  • Elite: $2.6 million
  • theScore: $1.0 million (partner casino Ameristar led retail handle with $4.6 million)
  • Hard Rock: $615,311
  • Betfred: $530,671
  • Q Sportsbook: $315,245

Multiple additional sportsbooks could launch in Iowa this summer, including FuboTV, MaximBet, Golden Nugget and DRF Sports.

Mobile sports betting continues proving worth

Iowa bettors placed more than 87% of bets online in May.

In January, the in-person registration rule in the state expired. Since then, wagers have climbed steadily higher than prior to the expiry.

Prior to the expiration of the in-person registration requirement, operators generated approximately $60 million in revenue in 18 months. Since the expiration, those operators have generated more than $46.3 million.

Sports betting totals continue to mount

Iowa launched sports betting in August 2019 and bettors have wagered $1.5 billion within state lines. That has produced $107.3 million in sportsbook operator revenue and $7.3 million in state taxes.

Neighboring states are pushing into sports betting, but restrictive rules could keep wagers coming to Iowa. South Dakota sports betting will be limited to retail sportsbooks in Deadwood. Nebraska sports betting will be retail only, with no wagering on in-state colleges games.

Since May 2018, US sports betting handle has surpassed $56.3 billion and nearly $555 million in operator revenue.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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