Iowa sports wagering drops for the third consecutive month

Iowa’s sports wagering dropped for the third consecutive month in June, even though revenue improved and the pace of betting per day held firm, according to PlayIA analysts.

June closed the door on a fiscal year for the Hawkeye State that brought more than $1.2bn in wagers despite the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic and in-person registration requirements that slowed betting for much of 2020.

Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com, commented: “The year brought significant challenges to Iowa’s sportsbooks, which made the results all the more impressive. 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.”

According to official data, $111.2m was accepted by Iowa’s online and retail sportsbooks in June, which is down 3.2% on the previous month (May: $114.9m). Pace of betting stayed at $3.7m per day over the 30 days of June, the same value it was over the 31 days in May.

Net operator revenue improved to $8.4m, up 37.4% from the previous month (May: $6.1m). June’s handle resulted in $568,501 in tax revenue.

Iowa’s sportsbooks took in $12.7m in bets in June 2020, producing revenues of $620,740 as the pandemic continued to affect the US sports schedule. Online and retail sports betting accounted for $1.2bn in wagering for the entire year, accounting for $90m in gross gaming revenue, and $6.1m in tax revenue.

Dustin Gouker, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com, stated: “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. 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, $95.1m in Iowa bets were made online, representing 85.6% of the state’s handle. Retail betting accounted for the remaining $16m, up from $15m achieved during the previous month.

William Hill’s sportsbooks accounted for 33% of Iowa’s handle in June with wagers totalling $36.65m, down from $37.6m in May. Online accepted $34m of the month’s wagers. June’s bets produced $1.8m in net receipts.

DraftKings and BetRivers’ Wild Rose tallied $31.5m in online and retail wagering, which resulted in revenues of $2.5m. June’s handle was down from $33.8m in May and included $31.4m in online bets.

FanDuel and BetMGM’s Diamond Jo took in $26.6m in combined wagers, down from $27.6m in May. $22.6m of June’s wagering came online, netting a market-best revenue of $2.6m.

Iowa’s online operators market is growing as well, as Bally Bet went live in late June, the second market the upstart operator has launched in. 888 Holdings and Sports Illustrated’s partnership looks to introduce the SI Sportsbook to the state, and PlayUp Sportsbook confirmed its plans to enter the market later this year.

Welman added: “Iowa is far from reaching its ceiling as a market. New operators clearly still see untapped potential in the state, and that speaks positively to where the market is heading.”