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Iowa records lowest full-month sportsbook revenue in December


Iowa’s licensed sportsbooks took in a combined $2.9m in sports betting revenue, down 19.3% from November and the lowest for a full month since sports betting launched.

This came despite handle declining only 0.1% month-on-month as bettors in the Hawkeye State enjoying their most successful month by far, in terms of winnings.

Online betting revenue increased 20.5% to $1.8m and outpaced retail for the first time since sports betting launched in the state. That $1.8m came on an  handle of $33.5m, down 0.6% month-on-month.

Retail revenue declined 48.9% to $1.1m, despite players wagering $25.8m, 0.1% more than in November.

Because of the decline in revenue, the amount the state took in tax also declined, by 18.1% to $198,872.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino continued to account for the lion’s share of sports betting revenue, thanks to its online sportsbook offering in partnership with William Hill. The casino took in $1.3m in revenue on a handle of $19.2m, of which 84.6% of revenue and 92.2% of handle came from online bets.

The only other venue to bring in more than $250,000 in revenue was Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, where players wagered $5.1m and the casino’s revenue came to $299,643. Again, the majority of these funds came from a William Hill-powered online product, as players placed $4.6m worth of wagers online and the casino’s online gross receipts came to $260,296.

The most popular casino for retail betting was the Ameristar II Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Players wagered $4.4m at the casino, which does not have an online offering, and its sportsbook took in $249,377 at the casino.

From the launch of legal sports betting in the state to the end of 2019, players bet a total of $212.2m on sports and sportsbooks took in $19.3m in revenue.

The state’s retail revenue came to $10.8m on a handle of $192.9m, while its online revenue totalled $8.5m on a $118.5m handle.

Prairie Meadows also took in the most revenue for the year, at $6.1m, on a handle of $756m. Of this $6.1m, $5.0m was generated online, where players wagered $68.3m.

Ameristar II took in the second most revenue, at $2.2m, on the second-largest handle, $17.7m, all of which came from retail bets.

Diamond Jo casino in Worth, which also does not operate an online sportsbook, took in the third-most revenue at $1.6m, on a handle of $14.6m. Players bet more money, however, at the Isle Casino Hotel at Waterloo, which took in $1.5m despite an $18.8m handle.

The state collected $1.3m in sports betting tax in 2019.