Iowa’s sports gambling industry going strong
The first full month of sports wagers saw a lot of action
As for as legal sports gambling states go, Iowa is one of the more robust. It only launched the activity in the middle of August, but has a wide-ranging set of laws that make it possible to place a wager on virtually anything. The popularity of the activity shows in the numbers, too, as Iowa just published its revenue for September, the first full month sportsbooks have operated. It was a very productive month.
According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), the total handle for the month was around $40 million. There are now 15 casinos in the state that offer licensed sportsbooks and the remaining three are expected to bring theirs online before the end of this month. Those three are all properties under the Wild Rose brand.
It didn’t hurt the numbers that September is always a good month for sports bets. The NFL gets underway, as does college football. Both are popular with gamblers and Iowa allows wagers on the pair. It is also one of the few states to bring in mobile sportsbooks right from the start, making it much easier for sports fans to place their wagers.
One of the biggest weekends was that of the Iowa-Iowa State football game. Brian Ohorilok, administrator of the IRGC, explains, “There were a lot of busy books that weekend and we’re still hearing reports on Saturdays and Sundays that there are lines out the doors of many sportsbooks. So we’ve definitely seen some big days.”
Compared to other states, Iowa is going strong and started out the gate better than many. Indiana’s sports gambling market saw a handle of $35.2 million in September, while Mississippi reported $31.8 million. Delaware had a handle of $14.1 million and West Virginia had $7.33 million.
The rest of the year should prove to be just as lucrative for Iowa. The net revenue was $4.95 million, which represents a hold of 12.9%, and the state’s coffers increased by $334,553 thanks to September’s numbers.