Iowa Sees Growth In November With New Mobile Betting Options

Published: 14th December 2019
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 6th April 2022

Officially sports betting began in Iowa on Aug. 14, but the state has already recorded strong growth in full-scale operations over the first three months.

The overall sports betting handle in Iowa rose 21 percent over the past month from $46.5 million in October to $56.3 million in November, according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. That strong showing was accompanied by a sharp rise in digital handling that rose 30 percent from October’s $25.9 million to November’s $33.7 million.

During the first full reporting period for the new sports wagering system of the government, the Iowa monthly report began in September.

Overall, during 2019, Iowa saw 55 percent of the total handle come from online betting. Roughly 56% of the handle came from the mobile betting market in October, and a slight increase to nearly 60% in November.

Iowa Sports Betting Revenue, Nov. vs. Oct. 2019

 Nov. ‘19Oct. ‘19Change
Net Revenue$3.6M$5.658M-36%
Total Handle$59.344M$46.5M+27.6%
Online Handle$33.666M$25.924M+29.9%

Internet betters in Iowa are required by law to register for age verification in person at a sportsbook before making any wagers online. The legislation requiring that process until January 1, 2021, so it should be important to see how the mobile betting market of Iowa is growing as more bettors complete the process month after month.

After all, mobile betting stalwart New Jersey does not need such an in-person verification process and is regularly claiming that over 80 percent of the bets made are from its 17 online sportsbooks.

In reality, mobile betting in New Jersey, after seeing the state report for November over 86 percent in the online handle and 85 percent in the same category for October, could even trend towards 85 percent overall.

In the fledgling Iowa sports betting world, revenue fell for the first time, despite the huge jump in total handle and the similarly large increase in overall Iowa online sports betting in general.

Revenue fell 36 percent to 3.6 million in November after posting an adjusted gross revenue of $5.6 million in October. Internet sales also fell 41 percent from $2.6 million to $1.5 million over the same time frame.

The year – to-date estimate for Iowa’s adjusted gross revenue is $16.3 million overall, with $6.6 million coming through the mobile betting market.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, which announced a total November handle of $20.6 million, is clearly the early industry leader in Iowa’s new sports betting space.

One of the nation’s only two non-profit casinos, Prairie Meadows ‘ operation dwarfed its next closest competitors, Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, and Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, which recorded $5.36 million and $5.35 million in total handles respectively.

Of particular note is that more than $19 million, or around 92 percent, of the overall handle at Prairie Meadows came from their mobile betting company run through a collaboration with bookmaker William Hill.

While the Iowa sports betting scene is still in the early stages of development, with its strong push for mobile gambling, Prairie Meadows appears to have hit the ground running.

Two new online Iowa sportsbooks are introduced in November: Burlington Catfish Bend Casino and Dubuque Q Casino.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.