Iowa’s sportsbooks report losses in February

Iowa’s land-based sportsbooks had a tough time in February.

According to figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), sportsbooks in the state managed to generate just $755,334 in revenue in February, a 76.6% drop on the $3.2m generated in January.

February’s sports betting handle amounted to $56.9m, which represents a 1.9% decrease on the $59.3m wagered the month prior. Bettors in the state wagered $37.8m via online sportsbooks, representing an increase of 11.6% in online betting handle, however, land-based handle dropped 20.9% to $19.1m.

The drop in revenue from sports betting in February can be attributed to significant losses among the state’s land-based sportsbooks. After accounting for $36.4m in player winnings, net online sports betting revenue amounted to $1.4m. The state’s land-based market reported a $614,574 loss after retail sports bettors won $19.7m.

Breaking down the figures

Looking closer at the figures, Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, which is partnered with William Hill for online betting, came in first place in February. Bettors in the state wagered $20.3m via William Hill’s online sportsbook and an additional $1.3m via the venue’s land-based sportsbook. Online betting accounted for $797,506 in revenue for the venue while the land-based sportsbook reported a loss of $91,604.

One of the state’s few venues that generated revenue from land-based operations was the Diamond Jo Casino in Worth. The venue came in second place in terms of revenue after generating $259,859 in revenue from $3.6m in sports wagers.

The Riverside Casino, which is partnered with Bet.Works for online betting, came in third place after generating $173,934. The licensees total handle amounted to $4.3m in February, with $3.8m being wagered online. In terms of revenue, online betting generated $184,228 while land-based betting contributed a loss of $10,924.

The Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, which is also partnered with William Hill, generated $128,401 in February after bettors wagered $5.1m on sporting events at the venue. In terms of betting handle, the sportsbook at Isle Casino had the second-highest handle in the state.

Looking at the market as a whole, 12 of Iowa’s 19 land-based sportsbooks saw losses in February, instead of generating revenue.

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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