Iowa sportsbooks took in more than $280 million in bets in October, catapulting past September’s record for monthly wagers by a whopping $70 million. With five weekends of football, an October surge was expected even if one not this large. Iowa’s sportsbooks have now collected more in bets over the last three months ($599.8 million) than in all of 2020 ($575.2 million), according to PlayIA, a leading source for news and analysis of the Iowa gaming market.
“With baseball’s postseason, the start of the NBA, and a calendar packed with football, bettors found so much to bet on,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com. “Iowa has also made a significant leap forward in maturation as more operators launch and Iowans begin to feel more comfortable with online sports betting. A maturing market and busy sports calendar proved to be a powerful combination.”
Iowa’s online and retail sportsbooks took in $280.9 million in wagers, up 243% from $81.9 million in October 2020 and breaking the record $210.4 million handle reached in September, according to official data released Thursday. Bettors averaged $9.1 million per day during the month, an increase over the $2.6 million per day in October 2020.
Iowa sportsbooks have now accepted $2.3 billion in wagers since launching.
Taxable revenue rose 27.8% to $6.6 million in October from $2.8 million in October 2020 and 14.7% from $5.7 million in September. The combined gains yielded $514,643 in tax revenue for the state.
“The enthusiasm over Iowa and Iowa State football waned a bit in October, but both are still drawing a lot of interest to the state’s sportsbooks,” said Russ Mitchell, lead analyst for PlayIA.com. “There won’t be another opportunity like the Cy-Hawk game featuring two Top 10 teams anytime soon, but on the whole, Iowa’s sports betting industry is in a great position headed into the final months of 2021.”
Online betting accounted for $249.9 million, or 89%, of October’s handle, yielding $3.5 million in revenue. Retail betting represented the remaining $31.0 million, producing $3.0 million in net receipts.
Caesars topped the online market with $97.0 million in wagers, but lost $1.6 million in revenue. DraftKings followed with $76.4 million in online wagering, producing $1.4 million in net receipts.
Diamond Jo Worth led retailers with $7.2 million in bets, yielding $788,755 in revenue. Ameristar Council Bluffs was just behind with $7.1 million in wagers, which produced $601,591 in net receipts.
Iowa’s roster of online operators has grown more robust, too. Fubo Sportsbook soft-launched on Sept. 23, Betway launched Oct. 1, and Circa Sports began taking bets on Oct. 7. With Barstool Sports’ launch on Nov. 2, Iowa is now home to 17 online operators, the most per capita of any legal market in the U.S. And even more are preparing to enter the market soon.
“Iowa is an enticing market for operators because it has a fair regulatory framework and top operators, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, don’t dominate the market as much as in other states,” Ramsey said. “That provides an opportunity for smaller operators to gain a foothold, which does not exist in larger and more established markets.”
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