Iowa sports betting handle hits record $280.9m in October

Figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) revealed that Iowa sportsbooks took a record number of sports wagers in October.

According to the latest figures from the IRGC, bettors in the state wagered $280.9m on sporting events in October.

October’s sports betting handle marks a significant month-on-month increase on the $210.4m wagered in September, which was also the state’s previous sports betting handle record.

Iowa’s handle was also up 234% year-on-year from the $81.9m wagered in October 2020.

Sports betting revenue for the month of October hit $6.6m and was up from the $5.7m generated the month prior.

Iowa has yet to surpass its sports betting revenue record figure of $13.5m that was set in March 2021.

Meanwhile, the state collected $514,642 in tax revenue for the month of September, bringing the total tax revenue for 2021 in Iowa up to $5.7m.

Iowa becomes the eighth state to clear $2bn in total handle

With October’s latest report, the state of Iowa has become the eighth state to clear $2bn in cumulative sports betting handle following the fall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018.

Iowa now joins New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, and Michigan as states to have passed the total $2bn handle threshold. Tennessee and Virginia are expected to join the list when they publish their October figures.

It had taken the Hawkeye State 19 months to clear the $1bn handle mark. However, it took just eight months for the state to cross the $2bn mark mainly thanks to the combination of remote registration for sports betting and the popularity of football betting.

How the operators performed

Caesars, formerly known as William Hill, was the most popular betting app in October with bettors spending $97m on the app. Despite making up the majority of the state’s handle in October, Caesars made a loss of $1.5m in October.

This comes after the operator just about broke even in September with $749 in profit.

DraftKings was the next most popular online sportsbook with $76.4m in wagers and $1.4m in sports betting revenue.

FanDuel followed with $38.1m in sports betting handle to become the third most popular operator in Iowa in October. Despite coming in third place, FanDuel had the highest revenue figure of any online operator with $2.1m.

BetRivers also made a loss of $117,932 on more than $3.7m in sports betting handle. 

What about land-based betting?

The state’s land-based sportsbooks took a combined $31m in handle, surpassing the previous land-based handle record of $28.8m from January.

Despite hitting a new handle figure, Iowa land-based sportsbooks saw revenue slip to $3m.

Two venues passed the $7m handle mark for the first time in the same. Diamond Jo in Worth and Ameristar in Council Bluffs near the Nebraska border each took in just over $7m in bets.

Diamond Jo managed to generate $788,755 in revenue becoming the highest-earning sportsbook in October.

Sports betting in Iowa

Iowa launched sports betting in August 2019, however, the state law required bettors to register their online sportsbook accounts in person at one of the state’s land-based casinos.

The in-person registration requirement came to an end on 1 January 2021, allowing bettors to register online betting accounts from anywhere within the state and allowing online-only operators to enter the state.

Last week, Fubo and Barstool launched their mobile sportsbooks in the state of Iowa. With the launch of Fubo and Barstool, bettors in the Hawkeye State now have 18 legal and regulated sportsbook platforms to choose from.