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Iowa sets new benchmark with $281m betting handle for October

Iowa v Penn State

Iowa sportsbooks had another record-breaking month in October as operators handled $280.9 million in wagers.

The betting handle for the month was up by more than $70 million from the $210.4 million reported in September, indicating an increase of 33.5% month-on-month. The figure also shows a massive jump of 243% year-on-year when compared to the $81.9 million staked in October 2020.

Of the total amount wagered, Iowa betting operators held $6.6 million, up 14.7% from the previous month’s $5.7 million revenue. When compared to the $9.1 million won in October 2020, however, last month’s revenue was down by 27.8% year-on-year. The vertical generated $514,642 million in tax revenue for the state in the month, a slight increase of 0.3% from the $512,951 collected in September.

“We’re right in the thick of things right now in terms of the busiest time for sports operators. We’re not really sure where the numbers will settle,” said Brian Ohorilko, Administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

“It’s always possible that we could continue to see growth this fall and into the winter.”

October was the first full month of football betting. Operators also saw an increase in wagers placed on other markets as the NBA schedule and 2021 MLB post-season kicked off in the month, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming months as the sports calendar becomes busier.

Online sportsbooks account for 89% of action

The report by the IRGC shows that $249.9 million of the betting handle posted by Iowa sportsbooks in October came from mobile bettors. The figure, which accounts for 89% of the total amount staked by Iowans in the month, was 34% higher than September’s $186.5 million internet handle.

The total amount paid out to players in winnings was $246.4, leaving online operators with $3.5 million in net revenue.

There were 15 operational sportsbook apps in the state’s market in October.

Moving on to retail, the combined betting handle reported by land-based sportsbooks was $31.0 million, up 29.7% from September’s $23.9 million. Retail revenue, however, fell by 28.6% month-on-month, as the figures dropped from $4.2 million in September to $3.0 million in October.

Who topped the Iowa market in October?

When it comes to individual performance, Caesars, formerly known as William Hill, had the highest online handle in the state at $97 million. The amount paid out by the operator, however, was higher than the volume of wagers handled, leaving the sportsbook with net receipts of -$1,578,600.

DraftKings Sportsbook reported the second highest internet handle at $76.4 million, and the operator’s revenue for the month was $1.4 million. The third spot went to FanDuel, which reported $38.1 million in mobile handle and $2.1 million in sports betting revenue.

MGM Resorts and Entain’s BetMGM app also had a great month as its handle increased from $12.3 million in September to $18.3 million in October. The operator’s hold for the month was $404,014, a slight decrease from September’s $488,294.

Here is how the rest of Iowa’s online licensees performed in terms of online handle:

  • PointsBet – $5.99 million
  • BetRivers – $3.75 million
  • Elite Sportsbook – $3.32 million
  • TheScore Bet – $2.08 million
  • Betfred Sportbook – $1.42 million
  • Hard Rock – $1.22 million
  • Unibet – $0.96 million
  • Bally Bet – $0.65 million
  • Q Sportsbook – $0.33 million
  • Circa Sports – $0.26 million
  • Fubo Sportsbook – $0.026 million
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