Iowa slows in April but revenue tops $100m milestone

Sportsbooks in Iowa have documented an April slowdown from the March Madness inspired highs of just one month earlier, recording its lowest handle since December ahead of an anticipated slower summer period.

The region accepted $118.4m in bets in April, which is down 26.7 per cent from the record $161.4m in wagers in March and the lowest volume since sportsbooks collected $104.8m in bets in December.

However, on the two-year anniversary of Governor Kim Reynolds signing sports betting into law, Iowa sportsbooks have generated $101.1m in operator revenue since the industry launched in 2019.

Net operator revenue hit $7.7m in April, which is down 42.6 per cent from April’s record $13.5m in net receipts. April’s revenue produced $521,455 in state taxes. 

Since January, when in-person registration rules were lifted, Iowa sportsbooks have produced $40.2m in net receipts, or 39.8 per cent of the state’s lifetime handle.

“Seeing $100m in lifetime revenue is an attention-getting milestone that crystallizes just how much growth Iowa has enjoyed this year,” noted Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIA.com

“The removal of in-person registration at the beginning of the year has been the catalyst for the industry’s expectation-busting start to the year. But other factors have helped, too, including a fierce competition among some of the country’s best-known operators, which have been aggressive and creative in reaching new bettors.”

Online betting generated $104.5m in bets or 88.3 per cent of the state’s overall handle. Meanwhile, retail betting fell to $13.8m from $22.1m in March.

Longstanding Iowa leader William Hill, which is partnered with six Iowa casinos, namely the Prairie Meadows, Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs, Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, Isle of Capri Bettendorf, Lakeside, and Harrah’s Council Bluffs, topped the market with $39.1m in handle, including $35.7m in online wagers. April produced $1.8m in net receipts.

Wild Rose took in $34.6m in online and retail bets, which included $34.3m online. The property led the market with $2.6m in net receipts.

FanDuel and BetMGM helped put Diamond Jo in third place with $29.2m in April bets, which included $26.1m in online wagering.

“The Iowa market is still a long way from maturity,” Welman added. “The largest sportsbooks are in a fight for market share while competitors turn their eyes to Iowa, an increasingly attractive market for emerging operators. The next few months should bring a flurry of activity, as operators jockey for position ahead of football season.”

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