Iowa April Sports Betting Handle & Revenue Drop From March

Iowa April Sports Betting Handle & Revenue Drop From March

Coming off of a record-setting March, top Iowa sportsbooks saw their numbers fall back a bit in April.

The total sports betting handle in Iowa for April was $118.36 million, down 26.7% from March’s record-setting $161.44 million, according to figures posted Friday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

The April Iowa sports betting handle was up a whopping 7,466% from April 2020 ($1,568,497) when physical casinos were shut down, as were sports leagues, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The record numbers from March in Iowa can be attributed to the NCAA Tournament, as this was the first year Iowans could legally bet on the college basketball tourney. Sportsbooks cleaned up on any Iowa residents who decided to back the Hawkeyes. Iowa failed to cover in its first-round win over Grand Canyon and was blown out as a favorite by Oregon in the second round.

In addition to the single-game losses, all of Iowa’s future tickets were graded as a loss, too.

Iowa Sports Betting Revenue & Handle, April vs. March

Total HandleMobile Handle Revenue
Change Down 26.7% Down 25.0% Down 42.6%

Mobile sports betting handle in April was $104.51 million, down 25% from March’s $139.39 million and up 6,563% from April 2020 ($1.57 million).

Sports betting revenue in the Hawkeye State was $7.73 million, down considerably from March’s $13.45 million. However, it was up 5,039% from April 2020 ($150,331).

All 18 casinos in Iowa that allow sports bets now have mobile sports wagering. Ameristar II added it in February of this year to become the last of Iowa’s casinos to feature mobile sports betting. Diamond Jo in Dubuque had the highest sports betting handle of any facility in the state in April at $18.45 million, just ahead of Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo ($17.85 million). Diamond Jo also topped all Iowa casinos in April revenue at $1.3 million.

For April, Iowa made $521,455 in state tax, a 42.6% decrease from the $908,011 in March.

Summer Could Be Slow, Football Awaits

It will be interesting to see how sports betting in Iowa continues with no NFL or college basketball over the next few months.

NBA and NHL playoffs are around the corner, the MLB regular season is underway and there will be the usual golf, tennis and auto racing events to keep bettors pre-occupied this summer.

All four in-state college football teams are on the horizon in a few months as college football returns in early September, which will be a welcome sight to Iowa bettors.

Three of the four in-state schools will open the season on Sept. 4: Indiana visits Iowa and Iowa State hosts Northern Iowa. Drake will open its season Sept. 11 at Montana State.

On Sports Betting Front

BettHouse, a tech start-up company founded last year and based in Las Vegas, expected to launch in Iowa in April, but has not officially done so. It also said it expects expansion to four states by the end of 2021, but the company did not identify the new states.

TheScore Bet launched in Iowa on Feb. 16, giving the Canadian sportsbook operator four active states. TheScore Bet secured market access in Iowa through an agreement with Penn National Gaming.

In addition, casinos in Iowa can add a third sports betting skin after the state's Administrative Rules Review Committee recently approved the rule change. It went into effect on March 10.

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