Through May, Iowa’s sports betting volume fell for the second month in a row, lagging below the peak hit just two months prior.
Analysts warn that the Hawkeye State’s latest decline is a warning that the region’s sports betting business will likely not experience major growth until the NFL season begins.
In May, Iowa sportsbooks took in $114.9 million in wagers, down 2.9 percent from $118.4 million in April and far shy of the $161.4 million set in March. Betting dropped to $3.7 million per day in May, down from $3.9 million per day in April.
In May, net operator revenue was $6.1 million, down from $7.7 million the month before. Tax revenue was $414,175 as a result of this. Online bets totaled $99.9 million, accounting for 87 percent of the state’s total volume. The remaining $15 million came from retail betting, up from $13.8 million previously.
Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIA.com said: “There is no avoiding a summer slowdown, but Iowa’s sportsbooks are in a remarkably better position than this time last year when there was still so much uncertainty.
“Sportsbooks will continue to be innovative this summer in an effort to keep bettors engaged with the remaining NBA season, baseball, and other sports, including the Olympics. Contrast that to last summer when most were in survival mode.”
With $37.6 million in wagers, including $35.3 million in online wagers, William Hill, which has partnerships with six Iowa casinos, once again led the industry. William Hill’s combined retail and online handle was down from $39.1 million in April, with net proceeds of $1.1 million.
With $33.8 million in online and retail wagering, Wild Rose, which comprises DraftKings and BetRivers, came in second, down from $34.6 million in April. Online bets accounted for $33.5 million of the total. The net receipts for Wild Rose were $1.4 million.
Diamond Jo took in $27.6 million in total wagers, including $24.3 million in online wagering, thanks to FanDuel and BetMGM. The total bets resulted in net receipts of $2.5 million.
“New operators will be pushing to launch ahead of football season, which will shake up the market a bit,” Welman added. “But for the moment, it appears the market leaders in Iowa are entrenched.”