October report

Sports bets in Iowa set new monthly record at $280.9M

Diamond Jo casino topped retail sports betting in the state.
United States
Reading time 2:05 min
The new mark is about $70M higher than the prior one. Sportsbooks in the state have now accepted more in wagers over the last three months than in all of 2020. Bettors averaged $9.1M per day, and the state now has the most online operators licensed per capita of any legal US market. Caesars topped the online market, which accounted for about 89% of October's handle.

Bettors in Iowa have set a new monthly record in sports betting, with sportsbooks in the state generating a combined figure of $280.9 million in bets last month, according to data issued last week by the state Racing & Gaming Commission.

The new monthly high far surpassed the previous one, set in September, by about $70 million. The increased demand results from the current football season: October was aided by five weekends of both professional and college matches. Sportsbooks have now accepted more in wagers over the last three months than all of 2020: $599.8 million versus $575.2 million.

Year-to-date wagering amounts to $689.3 million for the current fiscal year, which began July 1. ”We’re right in the thick of things right now in terms of the busiest time for sports operators,” said Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko, according to Quad-City Times

“We’re not really sure where the numbers will settle. It’s always possible that we could continue to see growth this fall and into the winter,” he added, noting the professional hockey and NBA and college basketball are launching their 2021-22 seasons.

According to data from PlayIA.com, Iowa Bettors averaged $9.1 million per day during the record-high month. This implied a significant increase over the $2.6 million per day in October 2020.

Moreover, Iowa sportsbooks have now accepted a total of $2.3 billion in wagers since the state legalized sports betting. Iowa also has now 17 online operators licensed, the most per capita of any legal US market, with more preparing to launch operations.

Fubo Sportsbook, Betway and Circa Sports are among the latest players, all having launched in October. Barstool Sports also joined Iowa, on November 2. The state’s fair regulatory framework and opportunities for smaller operations to gain a foothold are seen as key factors explaining the crescent number of operators in Iowa.

Out of total betting, online wagering accounted for $249.9 million, about 89% of October’s handle. Retail betting posted about $31 million. Caesars topped the online segment with $97.0 million in wagers, while Diamond Jo Worth led retailers with $7.2 million in bets, according to PlayIA.

October also proved to be a strong month for casino gaming: Iowa’s 19 state-licensed venues reported more than $151.6 million in adjusted gross revenue during the month. State tax collections topped $30.65 million.

“We’re seeing numbers right now that are significantly higher than anything we’ve seen before,” described Ohorilko, according to QC Times. “Business has been very good for the casinos and we’re continuing to see good numbers.”

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