The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) released on Friday its Sports Wagering Revenue Report for July 2020, which shows Iowa's sports betting rebounded in a big way last month.
The state had $22.9 million in total sports betting handle in July, an almost 80 percent increase over June’s $12.7 million.
The July numbers, from the IRGC, are still low for a normal month, but they showed improvement since casinos began reopening in early June. In the last full month before the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down, Iowa had nearly $57 million in sports betting handle in February, Lineups reports.
The mobile sports betting handle was $17.8 million up 53.4 percent from June’s $11.6 million. Mobile wagers represented 78 percent of the total handle in July.
July’s sports betting revenue was $2.2 million, an increase of 261.5 percent from June’s $620k. Iowa law requires in-person registration at its casinos to be in effect until Jan. 1, 2021.
Iowa saw $22.9 million being bet, generating $2.2 million in sports betting revenue, and over $150k in taxes. The overall numbers are still down from the late 2019/early 2020 numbers, but the steady increase is encouraging for sportsbooks.
Handle, revenue, and taxes have been increasing for three months in a row now. The goal for sportsbooks is to see all the numbers increase again next month, especially as major U.S. sports return in July.
Praire Meadows Racetrack & Casino saw the largest handle in July as sports bettors were wagering a total of $7.3 million. William Hill is the sports betting partner for Praire Meadows. The Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson, Iowa, saw the next biggest handle at $2.8 million for July. DraftKings Sportsbook is the Wild Rose sports betting partner.
FanDuel sportsbook in Iowa only saw $267k wagered at their sportsbook. They have a partnership with Diamond Jo, who has locations in Dubuque and Worth, Iowa. A majority of the bets made were online. Iowa mobile betting also saw a $17.8 million handle for July, 78 percent of the total handle for the month.
The Iowa numbers show how vital mobile betting is for a state, especially during the pandemic. Iowans could place bets from home even if casinos and sportsbooks were to close retail locations. Mobile betting helps the gaming industry bring in some money while the U.S. gets through the pandemic.
Iowa should see an increase in revenue this August. Revenue projections for this month are still too early to tell. However, with a steady rise in sports betting from the last two months, August should be no different, especially with major U.S. sports in full swing.
All three mainstream U.S. sports will be back in action and have a month under their belt. Not to mention, football will be returning very soon as well.
August and September should see increases as long as leagues do not get shut down due to COVID-19. Also, the NFL is still on schedule to return in September. College Football is up in the air, but early signs still show promise that there will be a season in 2020.
Sports betting numbers might not get back to normal until the pandemic is clear. Even though mobile betting is available in the Hawkeye State, people might not want to risk money on sports wagering in uncertain times. One positive thing for sportsbooks is that all four major sports should be playing at the same time for at least two months.
The situation is still not ideal for sportsbooks, but they are recovering from April lows. Now, sports bettors will have more popular options to wager on as major U.S. sports return. Revenue numbers might not be pretty for August, but they should continue to move in the right direction.