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Iowa sportsbook revenue rises despite Covid-19 shutdown


Sports betting revenue in Iowa increased 55.1% month-over-month to $1.2m for March, despite the shutdown of almost all sports due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic midway through the month.

Total handle, however, was well below previous months, at $19.6m, down 66.5% from February.

The state’s continued flow of sportsbook revenue was thanks to online betting, which brought in $1.2m, down 9.4%. This figure came on a handle of $13.3m, down 64.8%.

Retail betting, meanwhile, made a loss of $69,933. While this marked second consecutive month in which the retail sector posted a loss, this was much reduced from the $614,574 loss in February allowing for overall month-over-month growth.

Retail handle – impacted by stay-at-home orders and the closure of casinos in the state to slow the spread of the virus – came to $6.3m, down 67.3%.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino and its William Hill-branded sportsbook took in the most revenue yet again, at $612,064, down 13.2%, on a handle of $6.8m. Of this revenue total, $592,283 came from online betting, while players bet $616,003 in person, with the casino taking $19,780.

The Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, which is also a partner of William Hill, was next in revenue, taking in $140,499, up 9.4%, and in handle at $1.7m. The casino’s land-based sportsbook operations made a loss of $7,863 on stakes of $57,989, while its online operations took in $148,363 on a handle of $1.6m.

The WIld Rose Casino in Jefferson also produced six-figure revenue, bringing in $104,313, up 9.8%, with a handle of $824,688. The casino made a $629 loss from retail, but online betting brought in $104,941.

While the Wild Rose Jefferson Casino was third in revenue, the Ameristar II Casino in Council Bluffs saw more money wagered, at $1.3m, but only made revenue of $33,888. All of this revenue came from retail operations, as theAmeristar II casino does not have an online sportsbook.

Diamond Jo Casino in Worth handled $1.1m in wagers, but made a loss of $14,556. Like the Ameristar II Casino, the Diamond Jo Casino in Worth – as well as its location in Dubuque, which made a loss of $3,996 – does not have an online operation.