Iowa sportsbooks set records for wagering and revenue, generating nearly $20 million in revenue on nearly $290 million in bets in November. After another high, Iowa is now a strong December away from reaching $2 billion in betting for the year, according to PlayIA, a leading source for news and analysis of the Iowa gaming market.
“The expansion in betting in Iowa over the last three months has set a new floor for the industry,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com. “Operators have used the popularity of football to not only attract new customers, but also to expose existing bettors to more diverse forms of betting. The growth this fall will benefit state sportsbooks for the months and years to come.”
Iowa’s online and retail sportsbooks generated $287.2 million in wagers in November, up 229.5% from $87.2 million in November 2020, according to official data released Friday afternoon. November’s handle was up 2.3% from the record $280.9 million wagered in October, a month boosted by five weekends of football. Bettors averaged $9.6 million per day during the 30 days of the month, topping October’s $9.1 million per day.
Revenue rose 142.5% to $19.7 million in November from $8.1 million in November 2020 and 201.2% from $6.6 million in October. The previous record was $13.5 million, set in March. November’s gains yielded a record $2.1 million in tax revenue for the state.
The last three months represent the three highest monthly handles in state history. Through the first 11 months of this year, Iowa sportsbooks have generated:
- $1.8 billion in wagering, including $778.6 million over the last three months.
- $101.1 million in revenue, including $32.0 million over the last three months.
- $7.8 million in taxes, including $3.1 million over the last three months.
“The removal of in-person registration requirements for online sportsbooks at the beginning of the year was obviously a watershed moment for the state,” said Russ Mitchell, lead analyst for PlayIA.com. “But the growth of the last three months has been on another level.”
$260.4 million, or 90.6%, of November’s bets were made online, producing $16.8 million in revenue. Meanwhile, retail betting generated $26.9 million in wagers, creating $2.9 million in net receipts.
Caesars once again topped the online market with $104.0 million in wagers, yielding $4.7 million in revenue. DraftKings was second with $75.1 million in online wagering, producing $4.2 million in net receipts. Barstool Sports, which launched on Nov. 2, generated $770,576 in revenue on $9.7 million in bets.
Diamond Jo Worth led the retail market with $6.7 in bets, yielding $2.3 million in revenue. Ameristar Council Bluffs was second with $5.6 million in wagers, which led to $1.8 million in net receipts.
Football has been the main driver of growth for the last three months. But the NBA continues to be a popular bet, and the opening of the college basketball season in November helped boost sportsbooks.
“Football is driving record growth this fall, not just in Iowa but all over the country,” Mitchell said. “But with four Division I basketball programs, Iowa’s sportsbooks have an opportunity to grow some more this winter, especially if Iowa and Iowa State continue to play well.”
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