Online sportsbooks and the state government of Iowa are celebrating the state’s first-ever sports betting handle of more than $100 million. After first hinting at breaching the possibility of $100 million handle mark in November, Iowa continued its sports betting momentum, recording $104.8 million in wagers placed in December, an increase of 20.2% compared to the $87.2 million bet in the Hawkeye State in November 2020. The record monthly number resulted in Iowa breaking through the $600 million mark in handle for the year.
In December alone, sports wagering generated revenue of $7.5 million and yielded state taxes for expenditure on infrastructure and services for Iowa’s residents of more than $508 000.
Looking at the overall result for 2020, Iowa’s sports wagering handle numbers placed it 7th in betting handle among the nation’s legal sports betting jurisdictions. Those huge betting numbers generated net receipts of $41.6 million and added $2.9 million in state taxes in assisting Iowa’s financial bottom line.
However, with the requirement for online sports betting in-person registration now expired, the December 2020 high-water marks appear set to be short-lived according leading sports wagering industry analysts.
Jessica Welman, one such Iowa sports betting analyst, notes:
“What Iowa’s sports betting industry has achieved, becoming the seventh-largest market in the US, in spite of a significant handicap like in-person registration has been impressive. But with in-person registration now gone, Iowa’s sports betting market should take off. The monthly handle should make a jump forward in the coming months.” Welman remarked.
Potential for Enormous Iowa Sports Betting Growth in 2021
On the back of a frustrating 2020 with widespread postponement of many professional sports and special events like soccer’s Euro 2020 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, 2021 is predicted to be a considerably better year for sports bettors and sportsbooks alike. Sports are predicted to far more predictable in 2021 now that administrators and players have learnt more about how to cope with player bio-bubbles and playing in fan-less stadiums.
Industry analysts agree that beginning in 2021 that the Hawkeye State’s sports wagering industry will begin to grow towards maturity and within another 5 years reach the point where Iowa sports betting will generate more than $4 billion in bets on an annual basis.
Another respected sports betting industry analyst, Dustin Gouker added;
“Assuming Iowa follows a similar pattern (to other legal online sports betting states), which it should, online betting will not only represent an even larger share of the sports-betting pie, but it should also grow the overall size of that pie. Removing in-person registration is a huge step toward market maturity” Gouker said.
FanDuel leads the way in Iowa
Most successful of sportsbooks in Iowa is market leader, William Hill, leading the market by some way in Iowa with $33.6 million in betting handle for the month in December 2020.
FanDuel posted an online sports betting handle of nearly $13.5 million. That represents 17.2% of the state’s online sportsbook market for December 2020. The FanDuel handle was an increase of 48.9% from November and 300% more than its first Iowa handle report in September 2020 to show signs of becoming a serious contender to William Hill’s Indiana crown.
DraftKings was second overall with $18.7 million of online sports wagers being placed in Iowa in December accounting for a 24% market share.
All 3 leading operators now face stiff and serious competition with both BetMGM and BetRivers entering the Iowa market in January 2021.
The competition is considered key to sports bettors continuing to enter the market and help the nascent Iowa sports betting industry enter its maturity phase.