Browse articles by topic

Iowa generates $2.2m in first fortnight of legal betting


Licensed operators generated $2.2m in revenue from the first sixteen days of legal wagering in Iowa, with the William Hill-powered offering at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino leading the market over the period.

Iowa’s regulated wagering market opened for business on 15 August, with the inaugural set of results setting out figures through to 31 August. Customers wagered $8.6m in total over the period, winning $6.4m, figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reveal.

While mobile betting was permitted from day one, players are required to register in-person for an online account. This contributed to retail activity accounting for the bulk of handle ($4.9m) and revenue ($1.7m) in the period to 31 August. Customers wagered a further $3.7m via mobile, with operators holding $424,129 of this sum.

Across both channels, Iowa took $145,914 in tax from sports betting in August, with a 6.75% gross revenue tax levied on licensees.

The Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, partnered with William Hill, was the most successful licensee in Iowa during the first two weeks of regulation. Handle amounted to $3.4m, from which the venue generated $532,771 in revenue.

Penn National Gaming’s Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs followed in second, with revenue of $480,650 from $1.4m wagered. This all came through retail wagers – the highest in the channel over the period – with no mobile offering launched.

The Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs, the Caesars Entertainment-owned venue which is running a sportsbook powered by Scientific Games, followed in third with revenue of $192,777, despite having a lower handle ($441,273) than several other sites and not offering online betting.

The Isle Casino Bettendorf in Waterloo had a handle of $916,349 with net revenue of $158,694, while sister facility the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf posted a handle of $645,040 and $155,899 in revenue. Both venues, which are operated by Isle of Capri Casinos, are partnered with William Hill.

Elsewhere, Elite Casinos’ Riverside Casino and Golf Resorts posted revenue of $161,297 from $494,347 wagered, while the operator’s Rhythm City Casino fell just short of the $100,000 revenue mark by posting $99,843 for the month, from a handle of $350,442.

All other licensed venues in the state posted revenue below $90,000, although the Commission noted that not all licensees launched sports betting on 15 August.

As well as the Horseshoe Casino and Ameristar, the Q Casino Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino and Hotel (Caesars Entertainment), Catfish Bend Casino (partnered with PointsBet) and Boyd Gaming’s Diamond Jo Worth Casino do not currently offer online sports betting in Iowa.

The Casino Queen in Marquette, Diamond Jo in Dubuque, the Hard Rock Casino and the Wild Rose sites in Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson did not accept any sports wagers in the first two weeks of regulation.

Image: Tony Webster