Iowa sports betting handle hits new high in December

Iowa’s sports betting market posted record betting handle for the fourth month in a row.

According to the latest figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), bettors in the state of Iowa wagered a record $104.8m on sporting events in December.

December’s handle marked a significant 20.2% month-on-month increase on the $87.2m wagered in November and a 76.7% year-on-year increase. This also marks the fourth month in a row where Iowa has broken its sports betting handle record.

Despite posting record handle, sportsbooks in the state generated $7.5m in revenue in December, representing a drop from the $8.1m generated in November.

Iowa’s legal and regulated sportsbooks paid the state $508,747 in tax revenue.

Online sports betting once again made up the lion share of revenue in Iowa, generating $4.6m of the state’s revenue while land-based betting bought in $2.9m in revenue. 

Iowa’s bettors wagered $78.1m on sports via mobile and online sportsbooks, making online platforms the most popular way to bet on sports in December.

How each operator performed

Looking closer at the IRGC report, William Hill’s sportsbook at Penn National Gaming’s Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino continued to lead the market after generating $1.7m in revenue from $22.5m in sports bets. The licensee generated $1.5m via online operations and $159,632 through land-based operations.

The Ameristar II casino took second place in terms of revenue despite being limited to land-based only betting. This sportsbook managed to generate $771,345 after processing $5.8m in bets.

Diamond Jo Casino in Worth, which is partnered with FanDuel for sports betting, processed $10.9m in bets and held on to $751,010. The online sportsbook made up $599,252 of the operator’s total revenue from $6.3m in online bets.

The Wild Rose Casino Jefferson and its sports betting partner DraftKings came in fourth place after generating $696,934 from $13m in sports wagers.

Market likely to grow thanks to remote registration

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.

Now that bettors in the state can sign up remotely, Iowa’s sports betting market may finally reach its full potential.

In less than a week, new operators have already begun entering the state including the Australian sportsbook PointsBet and BetMGM.

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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