Iowa betting handle hits $149.5m in January

Iowa is the latest state to highlight the shortfalls of an in-person registration requirement for online and mobile sports betting.

According to the latest figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), bettors in the state of Iowa wagered a record $149.5m on sporting events in January 2021.

January’s handle marked a 42.7% month-on-month increase on the previous record of $104.8m that was set in December.

The massive increase in betting handle can be attributed to the state’s lifting of its in-person registration requirement for online and mobile sports betting at the start of the year. Rhode Island’s sports betting market saw similar results when it amended its laws to allow for remote sports betting registration last year.

Iowa’s sports betting revenue also hit a new record in January with the state’s legal sportsbooks generating a combined $11.3m in revenue. This marked a significant increase on the $7.5m generated the month prior and a large improvement on the previous record of $9.1m which was recorded in October 2020.

How each operator performed

Looking closer at the IRGC report only three of Iowa’s legal operators saw sports betting handle exceed $20m in January.

Diamond Jo Dubuque, which is partnered with FanDuel for sports betting, processed $23.7m in total bets and managed to generate just $1.8m in revenue. Online betting made up the majority of the licensee’s business in January as bettors wagered $22.7m via the FanDuel app, generating $1.7m in revenue.

Wild Rose Jefferson, which hosts the BetRivers and DraftKings sports betting products, took just under $22m in total bets and managed to generate just over $1m in revenue. Online sports betting accounted for $21.7m of the total handle and $997,683 of total revenue.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, with its partner William Hill, also ranked in the top three in January after generating $1.8m from a total of $23.2m in bets. Almost all of this came from William Hill’s online sportsbook after bettors wagered $21.7m via the online platform, leaving the operator with $1.7m in revenue.

Sports betting in Iowa

Sports betting went live in Iowa in August 2019 with a law that forced bettors in the state to create and register their online betting accounts in-person at one of the state’s casino sportsbooks.

This registration requirement ended on 1 January 2021, paving the way for bettors to create sports wagering accounts remotely from anywhere within the state. It also means that online-only operators can enter the state, providing bettors with a wider selection of betting options.

Iowans can now legally bet online with PointsBet, BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, Elite, Hard Rock, Q Sportsbook, PointsBet and William Hill.

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