Iowa Records $81.9 million Sports Betting Haul in October

Sportsbooks in Iowa surpassed $80 million in October. The Hawkeye State betting handle clicked in at $81.9 million, a 13% increase from the $72.4 million in September 2020.

They are an impressive set of numbers for the state propelled to dizzying heights by a sports calendar full of playoff baseball, NFL and college football in full swing and the final 5 games of the NBA Finals being played in the first week of the month.

Iowa saw its highest ever total sports betting handle, online sports wagering handle and revenue for a single month, breaking the previous records posted in the September totals.
The numbers released by the Hawkeye State’s official gaming regulator saw Iowa recording $81.9 million in total sports betting handle, a rise of 13.1% from September’s $72.3 million handle.

Delving a little deeper, the year-on-year the increase from October 2020’s record number was 76.1% over October 2019’s $40.5 million which at the time was only the second full month for legal Iowa sports betting.

All but one of Iowa’s 18 casinos offered some form of online sports betting, which also contributed to a record handle in the online category of almost $56.9 million.

The impressive number sets come despite Iowa having a strict in-person registration for online sports betting access. Online sports betting was legislated as legal under Iowan law in 2019, however, currently customers must first visit a bricks-and-mortar casino in order to sign-up.

Sports wagering results should begin to really take off in Iowa when that in-person requirement ends on January 1 2021 just in time for the huge sports events like the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl and of course, the 2021 version of college basketball’s March Madness tournament and the Final Four.

Revenue Numbers Also High in Iowa

Iowa sportsbooks also reported a record revenue month too, collecting almost $9.1 million in revenue in October 2020, accounting for a hold in the Hawkeye State of 11.11%. That impressive hold figure was in fact the highest margin reported since a 12.17% win rate was recorded in October 2019.

The October 2020 revenue number was a one-month high for tax revenues collected as the Iowa State Budget coffers banked almost $613 000. That impressive dollar figure obliterated the previous high of more than $380 000 collected in October 2019.

Revenue numbers in Iowa remain high as the State has one of the lowest sports betting revenue tax rates in the United States at 6.75%. This now means that since launching in August 2019, the Iowa State Budget has seen a $3.1 million sports betting generated windfall to assist in paying for the state’s services, infrastructure, education, health, child care and veteran’s programs.

Since the beginning of July 2020, Iowans have place wagers totaling almost $227.5 million on sporting events such as the NBA Finals, MLB World Series, NFL and college football games — with nearly $160 million of the total wagered through online sportsbooks. The rise and rise of sports betting comes at the same time that adjusted gross revenue also raised at Iowa’s 19 state-licensed casinos by 2%, with October’s $121.57 million bet total bringing year-to-date numbers to almost $480.5 million since July 1.

Area of improvement need – online sports betting

Despite the online handle of $56.8 million for October setting a record, it was only 69.5% of the total Iowa handle.

New Jersey, which has set national sports betting handle records for the past 2 months and Pennsylvania report approximately 90% of their sports betting wagers as being made online.

When Indiana’s in-person sportsbook registration requirement ends, look for the online betting handle numbers to increase in January.

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