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Retail losses hit Iowa sports betting market in February


Iowa has reported net receipts of $755,334 from its sports betting licensees in February, down 76.6% month-over-month, after losses in the retail channel offset marginal growth in online revenue. 

Total handle for the month fell marginally, however, dropping 1.9% to $56.9m, as a result of a decline in retail stakes. Amounts wagered online continued to grow, rising 11.6% to $37.8m, but this was wiped out by a 20.9% drop in retail stakes to $19.1m. 

While online net revenue, after player winnings of $36.4m, were down marginally at $1.4m, retail bettors won $19.7m, resulting in a $614,574 loss for the channel and driving down the market total for February.

Looking at the online channel, Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, partnered with William Hill, contributed $20.3m to total handle. This represented an 8.7% improvement from January, and coupled with $1.3m in retail stakes – down 8.0% – the venue’s total handle amounted to $21.6m, or 37.9% of total amounts wagered.

Online net revenue at Prairie Meadows came in at $797,506, up 37.1%, though this was driven down by a loss of $91,604 from retail wagering. 

This proved to be a recurring theme across the market, with a number of operators seeing online revenue wiped out or reduced by retail losses, with 12 of Iowa’s 19 sportsbook licensees experiencing this in February.

One venue that actually posted a positive contribution from retail was the Diamond Jo Casino in Worth, which remained in second place behind Prairie Meadows in terms of revenue. Though its revenue fell 41.8% month-on-month to $259,859, from stakes of $3.6m, this was enough for it to remain ahead of the competition. 

Riverside Casino, which uses Bet.Works technology, came in third, with revenue of $173,934. Total handle for the venue in February came to $4.3m, down 10.9%, of which $3.8m was staked online. Online revenue amounted to $184,228, which was reduced by a $10,294 loss from retail betting. 

Next up was the Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo, another William Hill partner, with revenue of $128,401, down 60.2% from January. With customers wagering $5.1m over the month, it actually had the second-highest handle in February, after Prairie Meadows. 

Online stakes were up 28.5% at $4.8m, while retail wagers were down 36.5% at $295,559. Players won $5.0m across both channels, and retail just avoided a loss with revenue of $1,077, compared to $127,324 from online. 

iGB North America will provide a full breakdown of the latest figures and market shares in the Iowa Gaming Dashboard, to be published in the coming days.