Football Drives Iowa Sports Betting To All-Time High

Posted on October 18, 2021 - Last Updated on October 22, 2021
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Written By on October 18, 2021
Last Updated on October 22, 2021

With football season back in earnest, Iowa sports betting hit record levels in September.

Iowa sportsbooks recorded a record $210.4 million in handle, according to an Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission report last week. The previous Iowa sports betting record was $161.4 million in March 2021.

September’s handle is up from the $108.4 million in August. In September 2020, Iowa sportsbooks handled $72.4 million in bets. The significant jump is likely because it is the first football season in Iowa without in-person registration for online sports betting.

IA sports betting revenue drops

While Iowans wagered a record amount, Iowa sports betting revenue dropped.

Sportsbooks generated $5.7 million in revenue, down from $6.6 million in August. The state brought in $512,951 in taxes.

The 2.7% hold is the second-worst since legal Iowa sports betting launched in August 2019. The lowest hold was a 1.3% in February 2020.

Caesars tops Iowa sports betting

William Hill regularly was the top sportsbook in Iowa prior to its August brand integration into Caesars Sportsbook. In September, Caesars continued to pace the state’s online sports betting market with $66.5 million in handle.

Caesars controlled 35.6% of the $186.5 million wagered online.

DraftKings Sportsbook was a close second, drawing $64.8 million in wagers. That is 34.7% of the online handle.

Best of the rest

FanDuel Sportsbook was third with approximately $27 million in handle. However, FanDuel did generate the most revenue in the state, bringing in $1.8 million.

BetMGM and PointsBet followed as the only other sportsbooks drawing more than $5 million in bets. BetMGM handled $12.3 million in online wagers, while PointsBet took $5.5 million.

OperatorOnline HandleRevenueHoldOnline Market Share
Caesars Sportsbook$66.5 million$749.17<1%35.6%
DraftKings$64.8 million($1.9 million)--34.7%
FanDuel$26.9 million$1.8 million7%14.4%
BetMGM$12.3 million$488,2944%6.7%
PointsBet$5.5 million$429,4727.8%2.9%
Elite$2.6 million$146,7605.6%1.4%
BetRivers$2.3 million$34,9711.5%1.2%
theScore$2.3 million$200,8648.7%1.2%
Hard Rock$1.1 million$73,6817%<1%
Betfred$966,503$150,84815.6%<1%
UniBet$516,135$34,6596.7%<1%
Bally Bet$408,330$53,91813.2%<1%
Q Sportsbook$252,396$34,77413.8%<1%
Fubo Sportsbook$220$7.893.6%<1%

Football’s welcome relief

July was a tough month for states across the US sports betting landscape. The summer month regularly draws the year’s lowest monthly handle in mature markets.

August started to show the signs of activity, with state figures starting to climb. In Iowa, July’s $88.9 million handle bumped up 21.9% to August’s $108.4 million.

Now, with college football and NFL betting back in full swing, state handles should start to climb again, with some markets hitting new highs like Iowa. With the Iowa Hawkeyes in contention, Iowans could keep climbing too.

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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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