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‘Mattress Mack’ payouts mean Iowa betting revenue plummets in November


Sports betting revenue in Iowa fell 70.9% year-on-year in November as two operators posted extremely large losses following multi-million-dollar winning bet payouts to US businessman Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale.

Revenue for the month amounted to $5.8m, down from $19.9m in November 2021 and also 69.6% lower than $19.1m in October this year.

According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), $3.9m of this total came from online sports betting, while the remaining $1.9m was generated at retail sportsbooks across the state.

Mattress Mack

The sharp decline was mostly due to two operators that posted heavy losses because of the result of baseball’s 2022 World Series. Betfred partner Grand Falls Casino Resorts posted a $6.0m loss from sports betting, while Harrah’s Council Bluff’s Casino & Hotel, with a Caesars sportsbook, reported a $5.9m loss.

The result of the MLB World Series led to extremely large payouts from some sportsbooks

Both of those operators paid out large amounts of winnings to McIngvale, who bet on the Houston Astros to win the World Series. Betfred said it paid out $5m to McIngvale, while Caesars said it would pay out a total of $30m, though the two operators did not break these payouts down by state.

Iowa sports betting handle

Turning to handle, players spent $247.5m wagering on sports during November, down 13.9% from $287.4m last year but 3.6% ahead of $238.8m in October 2022.

Some $223.5m was bet online, while consumers also spent $24.0m wagering on sports at land-based sportsbook facilities.

Diamond Jo in Dubuque, which has a FanDuel sportsbook, retained its place at the front of the market with $6.2m in revenue from $53.5m in bets.

Sister property Diamond Jo in Worth, which also has a FanDuel sportsbook, placed second with $1.9m in revenue from $26.1m in bets, then Wild Rose in Jefferson and DraftKings on $1.8m and a $38.2m handle.

The IRGC also revealed it took $1.6m in sports betting tax during the month.