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Iowa breaks handle record for fourth straight month in December


Sports betting revenue declined month-on-month in December 2020 but was up 159.9% year-on-year, as stakes hit a record high for the fourth consecutive month thanks to new highs in both online and retail spending. 

The $7.5m in revenue came on handle of $104.8m, up 76.7% year-on-year and 20.2% from last month’s record.

Online again made up the majority of revenue, at $4.6m, which was down from November but up 156.3% from December 2019. This came on stakes of $78.1m, which was also a new record and up 133.5% from the previous year.

Retail revenue, meanwhile, remained stable month-on-month at $2.9m and was up 31.8% compared to the year before. Retail handle also set a new record at $26.7m, up 3.5% from December 2019, which held the previous record.

Sports betting brought in tax revenue of $508,747 for the state.

William Hill’s sportsbook at Penn National Gaming’s Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino was again the market leader, bringing in $1.7m in revenue on bets totalling $22.5m. Of this revenue total, $1.5m was made online and $159,632 through retail.

Despite having no online operations, the Ameristar II casino managed to bring in the second-most revenue, at $771,345. This was made on $5.8m worth of stakes, all placed in person.

Diamond Jo Casino in Worth, with a sportsbook operated by FanDuel, brought in revenue of $751,010 as players staked $10.9m. Online bets brought in $599,252 in revenue on bets worth $6.3m

Wild Rose Casino Jefferson’s DraftKings sportsbook was second in retail but fourth in revenue as players bet $13.0m and the casino took in $696,934.

At the start of the year, Iowa players were permitted for the first time to create betting accounts online, rather than being required to register in person. In-person registration was required for the first 18 months of online betting in Iowa, per the state’s rules.

The news saw BetMGM – a joint venture between possible merger partners Entain and MGM Resorts – begin operations in the state.