DraftKings Outshines Caesars in Iowa Sports Betting
DraftKings became the first mobile sportsbook besides Caesars to report the highest handle in Iowa in any month since the launch. The Boston-based operator, which launched in February 2020, accounted for over 30% of total online sports betting handle in March, according to the official report.
The Hawkeye State had gone live in August 2019 with a mandatory in-person registration requirement.
According to the March numbers released Friday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), the state’s sportsbooks took in $233.5 million worth of bets. March Madness-filled month’s total represented a nearly 8% increase from February’s $215.9 million and a 44.7% increase from March 2021’s $161.4 million.
Iowa had posted the record-setting $303.3 million this January, marking the first time the Hawkeye State went past $300 million-plus in 30 months of legal betting.
Revenue Second-Highest in March
Iowa claimed $14.4 million, the second-highest revenue total in its regulated sports betting history, behind only the $19.7 million reported last November.
The state’s sports betting revenue of $14.4 million was a 68% increase from February’s 8.6 million and a 7.1% surge from the number reported for March 2021 ($13.5 million).
The win rate was 6.2% compared to 4.2% in February.
The state collected $972,991 in sports betting taxes, a 64% increase from February’s $593,540, a 7.2% surge from last March’s $908,011.
Mobile sports betting accounted for $208.3 million in handle, up 6.8% from February’s $195 million and a surge from 49.4% from last March’s $139.4 million.
DraftKings Wears Iowa Crown in March
DraftKings, which launched in Iowa in February 2020, took in $64.9 million in bets for March, accounting for 31.1% of the overall online handle of $208.3 million. Caesars, which had monopolized the industry partly due to its availability in various locations when in-person registration was mandatory until January 2021, was a second at a $49 million handle.
Caesars/William Hill is still the only mobile sportsbook in Iowa to cross $1 billion in the overall handle. However, Caesars’ combined handle for February of March ($111 million) is less than its January handle of $112.7 million.
FanDuel also reported a strong handle of $47.5 million – its highest in the Hawkeye State. The New York-based operator also claimed the highest revenue with over $3.7 million, thanks to a 7.8% hold.
Though BetMGM saw $22.6 million in handle, it finished with the third-highest revenue ($2.3 million) – nearly $90,000 more than Caesars.
With a handle of $7.4 million, Barstool Sportsbook continued to hold on to its fifth spot for the handle since launching last November.
March Was the Last Booming Month
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament – commonly known as March Madness – typically provides a boost to US sports betting. The Hawkeye State also saw a swelling handle due to multiple in-state teams taking part in the tournament.
Iowa State’s men’s and women’s teams had deeper runs this year, with the men defeating LSU and Wisconsin before they were overcome by Miami.
According to analyst Russ Mitchell Iowa did not disappoint, adding that it also got a significant boost from the state’s schools. The state’s teams reached the Sweet 16 in both editions of March Madness, which generated considerable enthusiasm in Iowa, and showed in March’s wagering patterns.
But March Madness is gone now, and the US sports betting is leading to the slower months till September.
What’s Ahead in 2022?
Iowa sports betting has seen $752.8 million in handles so for in 2022, according to the IRGC. However, the next few months are likely to bring slim handles until the regular football season kicks off in September.
According to Eric Ramsey, a sports betting analyst, “sportsbooks typically slow after March, even with the NBA playoffs, MLB, and major golf events.” However, he added that Iowa’s industry is on excellent footing heading into the slower summer months and will return to full action this fall when football returns.
The best part is that monthly totals in the coming months are expected to post year-over-year growth. The Iowans are now more comfortable and familiar with online sports betting as an entertainment option.
Iowa operators have USFL odds, which means the introduction of spring football will increase the options for the state residents.