Iowa sports betting revenue rises despite sport shutdown in March

Iowa’s sportsbooks reported a significant increase in March revenue despite the shutdown of almost all sporting events due to coronavirus.

According to figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), sports betting revenue saw a 55.1% month-on-month increase up to $1.2m in March, despite the shutdown of almost all sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sports wagering handle, however, amounted to $19.6m in March a significant 66.5% decrease on the $56.9m wagered in February.

Online sports betting accounted for the majority of the state’s betting handle, with bettors wagering $13.3m via online sportsbooks, which was down 64.8%. Online betting also accounted for $1.2m of the state’s betting revenue, while land-based sportsbooks made a loss of $69,933.

This marked the second consecutive month where land-based sportsbooks made a loss from sports betting operations.

Breaking down the figures

Looking closer at the figures, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino and its William Hill-branded sportsbook continued to lead the market in March. The venue generated $612,064 in revenue after bettors wagered $6.8m with the licensee. Online betting accounted for $592,283 of the venue’s revenue while $616,003 was wagered in person at the venue which translated into a land-based revenue of $19,780.

The Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, which is also partnered with William Hill, came in second place after generating $140,499 in revenue after bettors wagered $1.7m on sports with the operator. Land-based betting operations made a loss of $7,863 after bettors wagered a total of $57,989 in person at the casino sportsbook.

The Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson handled $824,688 in wagers and generated $104,313 in revenue up 9.8% on the venue’s revenue the month prior. Online betting generated $104,941 while land-based operations made a loss of $629.

Sports betting in Iowa

Governor Kim Reynolds signed Iowa’s betting bill into law in May 2019. With just 94 days between the signing of the bill and the launch of sports betting in the Hawkeye State, Iowa’s timeline to launch sports betting was one of the quickest in the US.

From 1 January 2021, bettors will be able to register online sportsbook accounts remotely from anywhere within the state, eliminating the inconvenience of having to travel to a casino. This will is sure to be a positive development for both the state’s sportsbooks and consumers.

At the time of writing, Iowans can bet online with several sports betting brands including William Hill, Bet.Works and DraftKings.

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