Iowa’s pace of sports wagering dropped for the third consecutive month in June, even as revenue jumped and the pace of betting per day held firm. The mostly positive month closed the book on a fiscal year that brought dramatic growth and more than $1.2 billion in wagers in spite of a pandemic and in-person registration requirements that slowed betting for much of 2020, according to analysts from PlayIA.
“The year brought significant challenges to Iowa’s sportsbooks, which made the results all the more impressive,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com. “The best news is that with the pandemic’s effects on the industry waning, and online registration firmly in place, the last year is only a glimpse of Iowa’s true potential.”
Iowa’s online and retail sportsbooks accepted $111.2 million in June, according to official data released late Thursday. That is down 3.2% from $114.9 million in May. The pace of betting remained $3.7 million per day over the 30 days of June, matching the $3.7 million per day over the 31 days in May.
Net operator revenue rose to $8.4 million in June, up 37.4% from $6.1 million in May. June’s handle resulted in $568,501 in tax revenue.
June’s results closed the book on fiscal year 2020-21, a pandemic-marred year that still brought impressive growth. In June 2020, Iowa’s sportsbooks took in $12.7 million in bets, producing $620,740 in revenue as the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the U.S. sports schedule. For the entire year, online and retail sports betting accounted for:
- $1.2 billion in wagering
- $90.0 million in gross gaming revenue
- $6.1 million in tax revenue
“With a lighter sports schedule and few local betting events to spur interest, Iowa won’t see significant growth in betting again until the football season,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com. “But there is no question that the Hawkeye State is in good position, poised for a fall expansion when Iowa, Iowa State, and the NFL once again draw bettors to sportsbooks.”
In June, $95.1 million in bets were made online, representing 85.6% of the state’s handle. Retail betting accounted for the remaining $16.0 million, up from $15.0 million in May.
William Hill’s sportsbooks accounted for 33.0% of Iowa’s handle in June with $36.65 million in total wagers, even as the operator’s handle ticked down from $37.6 million in May. $34.0 million of June’s wagers were made online. All told, June’s bets produced $1.8 million in net receipts.
Wild Rose, which includes DraftKings and BetRivers, tallied $31.5 million in online and retail wagering, which resulted in $2.5 million in revenue. June’s handle was down from $33.8 million in May and included $31.4 million in online bets.
Diamond Jo, fueled by FanDuel and BetMGM, took in $26.6 million in combined wagers, down from $27.6 million in May. $22.6 million of June’s wagering came online. That was enough to net a market-best $2.6 million in revenue.
Iowa’s menu of online operators is growing, too. Bally Bet went live in late June, the second market the upstart operator has launched in. Meanwhile, a partnership between 888 Holdings and Sports Illustrated promises to bring the new SI Sportsbook to Iowa eventually, and PlayUp Sportsbook confirmed plans to enter the market later this year.
“Iowa is far from reaching its ceiling as a market,” Welman said. “New operators clearly still see untapped potential in the state, and that speaks positively to where the market is heading.”
For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Iowa, visit PlayIA.com/news.
About the PlayUSA.com Network:
The PlayUSA.com Network is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the United States. With a presence in over a dozen states, PlayUSA and its state-focused branches, including PlayIA.com, produce daily original reporting, publish in-depth research, and offer player advocacy tools related to the advancement of safe, licensed, and legal online gaming options for consumers. Based in Las Vegas, the PlayUSA Network is independently owned and operated, with no affiliations to any casino — commercial, tribal, online, or otherwise.
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