Summer Slump Grips Iowa Sports Betting in June

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Iowa sports betting continues to show declining trends in June, the third consecutive month with a dipping handle since March Madness-led record handle.

According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission released Thursday, the state’s sportsbooks posted $111.2 million in June, down 3.2% from May’s $114.9 million in handle, which was also 2.9% less than April’s $118.36 million.

March was the highest month – in terms of sports betting handle – for Iowa sports betting, which took in $161.44 million in total handle.

In Aug. 2019, Iowa officially became the 11th US state to allow sports betting, nearly a year after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA in May 2018.

Fourth-Highest Sportsbook Revenue

Despite the dip in the handle, operator revenue increased 37% month-over-month, thanks to a higher hold percentage. Operators totaled more than $8.4 million in revenue – the fourth-highest monthly figure ever.

The 7.6% hold was a huge jump from May’s win rate of 5.3%, which allowed Hawkeye State’s 18 operators to keep a little more than $6.1 million that month.

The state generated $568,502 in taxes from June sports betting, a 37.3% rise over the $414,175 collected in taxes in May, according to the official report.

Online Vs. Retail Sports Betting

Iowa mobile sports betting in June accounted for 85% of the total market, representing a slight decrease from the 87% reported in May. The Hawkeye State’s mobile betting reported $95.1 million, down 4.8% from the $99.92 million wagered digitally in May.

The state’s retail sports betting handle, however, increased 7.2% or nearly $16 million across the 18 casinos – all of which take sports bets now. More importantly, retail bets resulted in $2 million in operator revenue, a 56% growth month-over-month, which was thanks to an almost four percentage points higher win rate in June to 12.73%, compared to May’s hold of 8.75%.

The two sportsbooks – Ameristar Casino and Diamond Jo – reported the largest handles, with almost $8.2 million between them.

Handle Clears $100 Million For the Seventh Straight Month

Though a consecutive third month with continuous decline, Iowa has cleared $100 million in sports betting handle for the seventh straight month.

There has been no looking back for Iowa sportsbooks since Dec. 2020 when the handle rose above $100 million for the first time.

The last three months, including June, have merely reflected a general scenario, with most other states reporting similar dips due to the lack of sports betting options.

Sports calendar – which determines the intensity of sports betting – usually gives increased options to bettors during the months of September and February. US sports bettors have plenty of options to wager on football during that time.

Once the football season ends in February, bettors have March Madness – the biggest sporting event in a calendar year – after which spring and summer slumps follow until the fall.

Iowa Passes $1bn Mark in a Year

The Hawkeye State crossed the $1 billion mark, closing out the fiscal year with a $1.21 billion in the annual handle. Sports betting net receipts totaled nearly $90 million and the state generated $6,072,765 in taxes from the industry.

Iowa sports betting witnessed a transition period at the beginning of this year, 18 months after it launched legal sports betting on Aug. 15, 2019.

Until January 2021, Iowan bettors had to register for online sports betting account at one of the physical casinos – a condition most bettors don’t prefer, particularly in times of the pandemic.

Remote registration arrived on Jan. 1, 2021, allowing the new bettors to register from the comfort of their homes or any place within the state through the internet.

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