Iowa Sportsbook Boosted By Lack Of In-Person Entries

The lack of in-person entry criteria boosted Iowa sportsbooks during February, continuing a trend that has emerged throughout the year.

Even if the state’s month-over-month handle plummeted from the previous month’s boom, the Hawkeye State brought in almost $144 million in bets in February, with more bets every day than ever before.

Most compelling case study

Jessica Welman, an analyst for PlayIA.com said: “Iowa remains perhaps the most compelling case study yet on the effects of in-person registration requirements.

“February is a short month with only one NFL game to bet on, the Super Bowl, so the relatively flat month-over-month results can be misleading on the surface. 

“But another strong showing still places Iowa in a class of states that are either larger or have far more mature gaming markets. And that would not be possible under the old requirements.”

In February, online and retail sportsbooks took in $143.6 million in wagers, down 3.9 percent from the record $149.5 million in January.

Daily betting reaches new high

However, betting every day in the first 28 days of the month reached a new high of $5.1 million, up from $4.8 million in the first 31 days of the month. Iowa now has a lifetime handle of $1.1 billion.

William Hill and its various licence partners retook the lead in online sports betting, accounting for $143.6 million, or 87.2 percent, of the state’s overall handle. Retail betting brought in $18.4 million, down from $28.8 million the previous year.

Sportsbooks’ net sales fell 32 percent month to month, to $7.7 million from $11.3 million, generating $520,444 in state taxes.

Two-month surge

The two-month surge is partially due to the elimination of in-person registration provisions in January, with FanDuel announcing a nearly sevenfold increase in new consumer registrations from December to January as a result.

Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayIA.com said: “When local teams enjoy strong seasons, as both Iowa and Drake are, interest in betting on their games goes up. We see that in every regulated sports betting market in the US.

“With March Madness on the horizon, more growth almost certainly lies ahead. And sportsbooks should get an even bigger boost if Iowa or Drake can manage a prolonged run in the NCAA tournament.”