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Iowa sportsbooks set handle record, bring in $5.2m in Sept


Iowa sports betting revenue grew to $5.2m in September as the state broke its record for amounts wagered in a month.

The month marked the first time that year-on-year comparisons were available. This revealed that revenue was up 4.8% from September 2019, the first full month of legal sports betting in Iowa, and 72.1% from August this year.

Handle grew 43.9% month-on-month and 88.1% year-on-year to $72.4m, surpassing November 2019’s record total. 

Online revenue was up 32.1% year-on-year to $2.7m, beating October 2019’s record for online revenue by just $25,000. Online handle totalled $50.0m, up 129.3% year-on-year and comfortably setting a record for the state.

Retail revenue declined 15.1% from September 2019 at $2.5m on retail handle of $22.4m.

Operators paid $348,827 in tax, up 4.5%.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino’s William Hill sportsbook led the way in revenue and handle yet again, bringing in $1.1m, down 28.3% year-on-year, on $18.3m worth of bets, up 26.2%. The vast majority of Prairie Meadows’ revenue, $975,692, was made online, with just $121,354 made through its retail book.

The second-largest source of revenue was Penn National Gaming’s Ameristar II in Council Bluffs, bringing in $803,243 on $5.7m worth of bets. As the Ameristar II casino does not have an online sportsbook, all these bets were placed over the counter, and Ameristar II comfortably led the way among retail sportsbooks in both revenue and handle.

However, while Ameristar was second in revenue, the Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson’s DraftKings sportsbook has the second highest stakes in the market, bringing in $386,246 on $6.9m of bets. Of this total, $6.8m was staked online, with online betting bringing in revenue of $360,401.

The Diamond Jo Casino in Worth’s FanDuel sportsbook brought in $732,882 in revenue on $6.1m of bets, meanwhile.

Two more William Hill-branded sportsbooks, followed. The Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo’s revenue totaled $376,640 on bets worth $6.5m and the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs brought in $339,405 with players staking $3.0m.

Following closures due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), every sportsbook in the state except for Casino Queen Marquette was open and taking bets in September, with the three Wild Rose casinos in Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson reopening during the month, after being closed throughout August.