Sportsbook

Iowa Shatters Record in September With $210 Million in Sports Wagers

Bettors placed $210.4 million in wagers at Iowa's online and retail sportsbooks in September

Iowa Shatters Record in September With $210 Million in Sports Wagers
Iowa Shatters Record in September With $210 Million in Sports Wagers

Football sent bettors flocking into Iowa's online and retail sportsbooks in September, shattering the record for monthly wagers while surpassing $200 million for the first time, according to PlayIA, a leading source for news and analysis of the Iowa gaming market. 

"The first full month of football was bound to cross new thresholds, and one of the most-watched Cy-Hawk games in history pushed the volume to another level," said Russ Mitchell, lead analyst for PlayIA.com.

"By any measure, September was a remarkable month. And the future looks just as bright as the Hawkeyes remain among the nation's best, teams of regional interest litter baseball's postseason, and bettors become increasingly comfortable with online betting."

Bettors placed $210.4 million in wagers at Iowa's online and retail sportsbooks in September, up 94.1% from $108.4 million in August and up 190.7% from $72.4 million in the corresponding month a year ago, according to official data released Friday. The pace of betting rose to $6.8 million per day over the 30 days of September from $2.4 million per day in September 2020.

September's wagering easily broke the previous monthly record handle, which was $161.4 million set in March. 

Heavy promotion by sportsbooks sapped operator revenue, falling 13.5% to $5.7 million in September from $6.6 millionin August. But September revenue was up 10.6% from $5.2 million in September 2020, a month that included just two Iowa State games as Iowa sat out. September's gain yielded $512,951 in tax revenue for the state.

September was a reversal from the slow summer months, which bottomed out with $89.6 million in wagering in July. For the year, Iowa sportsbooks have generated:

  • $1.2 billion in wagering 
  • $74.8 million in operator revenue 
  • $5.2 million in state taxes

"Iowa was negatively affected by the slow summer season more than most markets, so it might be easy to lose sight of just how much growth the market is experiencing," said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com. "Iowa will almost certainly triple the wagering compared with 2020 and could go even higher if a few things fall into place. That is dramatic growth by any measure."

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