Iowa Sports Betting Surpasses $1bn in Handle This Year

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Despite nationwide shrinking handles, Iowa sports betting became the 11th state to surpass $1 billion this year so far.

According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s latest figures released on Friday, the state’s 18 sportsbook operators took in $147.9 million, down 17% from April’s $177.4 million. Still, this May’s handle represented a 29% increase from $114.9 million wagered during the same period last year.

The Hawkeye State launched legal sports betting in August 2019, which has grown unprecedently since the state ended the in-person registration requirement in January 2021. That month brought a record total of $149.5 million.

Iowa sports betting is also less than $100 million away from becoming the 10th state to top $4 billion in its lifetime handle.

Nearly 91% was gambled online in Iowa in May.

Operator’s Revenue Increased in May

Despite the shrinking handle, revenue increased 1.9% from April’s $12.4 million to a little more than $12.6 million in May.

The month-over-month increase in operator’s revenue was thanks to an increase in the win rate of 8.5% in May, compared to just shy of the industry standard of 7% in April.

The Hawkeye State raised more than $850,000 in taxes for the month of May and the $4.2 million so far this year.

Iowa sports betting handle has grown 28.8% year over year, while revenue more than doubled from $6.1 million in May 2021 to $12.4 million last month.                                 

DraftKings Establishes its Iowa Rule

DraftKings established its rule as the top mobile operator in Iowa, becoming the first operator to find a top spot for three consecutive months since the IRGC released numbers by operators. The Boston-based sportsbook ascended the Iowa throne in March, ending the five-month Caesars’ winning streak in the state.

William Hill, which Caesars eventually absorbed last April following a $3.7 billion acquisition, enjoyed a leading market share in Iowa since its launch. However, William Hill’s various retail locations remained busier amid the state’s in-person registration requirement for mobile sports betting access.

But Caesars’ dominance continued to diminish since January 2021, the first month without an in-person registration requirement. DraftKings and FanDuel – the two largest mobile operators in the USA – were the most expected beneficiaries of that change.

While DraftKings has continued its handle-wise dominance for the third-straight month in May with $38.5 million in handle, FanDuel also outran Caesars for the first time by reporting nearly $31 million in wagers.

Caesars finished third place with $30.1 million.

Meanwhile, BetMGM was the only other online operator to post eight figures with more than $16.4 million.

These top four operators collected nearly 86% of Iowa’s mobile betting handle.

The state regulators began to give a breakdown of mobile wagering receipts in July 2021. Caesars led in seven of the 11 months since the IRGC began to reveal the operator’s numbers.

Aside from the last three months, DraftKings also outpaced Caesars in September.

Another Record Year for Iowa Market

With more than $1 billion in total handle this year, Iowa is on track to set new trends for its sports betting market that had a modest start in August 2019. For comparison, the Hawkeye State reached the $1 billion mark in the eighth month of 2021.

Eric Ramsey, an industry analyst, praised the year-over-year growth of Iowa sports betting in May. He said Iowa is well on its way to another record year of volume, predicting the $3 billion milestone for the Hawkeye State when this year ends.

However, as the US sports betting entered the summer slump, the Iowa market is expected to post modest numbers for June and July. August might show some improvement, but the industry will return to its full vigor from September when college football and the NFL return.

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