Iowa February Sports Betting Handle Takes Slight Dip

Iowa February Sports Betting Handle Takes Slight Dip
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Iowa sports betting handle dipped a bit in February after reaching an all-time high in January.

February’s $143.62 million in Iowa was a drop of 4% from the previous month. In January, sports wagering handle in Iowa reached a record $149.52 million as sportsbooks reaped the benefit of the expiration of a requirement that customers register for remote play in-person. More convenient registration has obviously been a big boost to customer participation.

Also, February had three fewer days than January.

As sports wagering handle dropped, so did revenue. February sports wagering revenue in Iowa was $7.71 million, a decrease of 32% from January’s $11.34 million. In line with the drop in revenue, tax collections also dropped in February to $520,444, a decrease of 32% from January’s $11.34 million.

Another factor was that the average hold for February was 5.37% compared to January’s 7.58%.

Iowa Sports Betting Revenue & Handle, February vs January

Total HandleMobile Handle Revenue
ChangeDown 4.0%Up 3.7%Down 32.0%

Online sports wagering surged in February in Iowa. The online handle was $125.22 million (a state record) compared to $18.40 million in retail handle. All 18 Iowa casinos that allow sports betting also have online sports wagering.

Because of the elimination of the in-person registration requirement and the increase in online sportsbooks, the year-over-year comparisons with February 2020 saw huge jumps across the board: 152% (overall sports betting handle), 231% (online sports betting handle), and 921% (overall sports betting revenue). February marked the sixth straight month that Iowa sports wagering handle went over $100 million.

Super Bowl Betting Big

An interesting footnote is that the Super Bowl in early February generated more than 11.3% of the month’s total revenue, $16.3 million.

Among Iowa’s operators/casinos, the February handle leaders were: William Hill (with Isle Casino Waterloo) $21.86 million, and FanDuel (with Diamond jo Dubuque) $21.36 million. In Iowa, 18 of 19 casinos have sports wagering and all the ones that do also have Internet sports betting. Just one Iowa casino doesn’t have sports wagering yet, the Casino Queen-Marquette, and its website says that sports betting is “coming soon.”

Apart from sports betting, the 19 Iowa casinos have generated so far in fiscal year 2021 revenue of about $948 million in live casino play, generating state taxes of about $186 million, plus addition local and miscellaneous taxes.

March Could Be Better

Casinos in Iowa can add a third sports betting skin after the state's Administrative Rules Review Committee recently approved the standard filing request from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Casinos had been permitted to have two skins.

Now that the rule has been approved, Iowa casinos can add a third skin effective March 10.

TheScore Bet went live in Iowa on Feb. 16, giving the Canadian sportsbook operator four active states. It also takes bets in Colorado, Indiana and New Jersey. TheScore Bet secured market access in Iowa through its multi-state framework agreement with Penn National Gaming.

With no remote registration, the new rule allowing for three skins — meaning more operators — and March Madness going strong, March has a chance to be a huge month for Iowa sports betting.

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