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US – Iowa sportsbooks set new records in November

By - 14 December 2021

Iowa sportsbooks set records for wagering and revenue, generating nearly $20m in revenue on nearly $290m in bets in November. After another high, Iowa is now a strong December away from reaching $2bn in betting for the year.

“The expansion in betting in Iowa over the last three months has set a new floor for the industry,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIA.com. “Operators have used the popularity of football to not only attract new customers, but also to expose existing bettors to more diverse forms of betting. The growth this fall will benefit state sportsbooks for the months and years to come.”

Iowa’s online and retail sportsbooks generated $287.2m in wagers in November, up 229.5 per cent from $87.2m in November 2020, according to official data released Friday afternoon. November’s handle was up 2.3 per cent from the record $280.9m wagered in October, a month boosted by five weekends of football. Bettors averaged $9.6m per day during the 30 days of the month, topping October’s $9.1m per day.

Revenue rose 142.5 per cent to $19.7m in November from $8.1m in November 2020 and 201.2 per cent from $6.6m in October. The previous record was $13.5m, set in March. November’s gains yielded a record $2.1m in tax revenue for the state.

The last three months represent the three highest monthly handles in state history. Through the first 11 months of this year, Iowa sportsbooks have generated $1.8bn in wagering, including $778.6m over the last three months and $101.1m in revenue, including $32m over the last three months.

“The removal of in-person registration requirements for online sportsbooks at the beginning of the year was obviously a watershed moment for the state,” said Russ Mitchell, lead analyst for PlayIA.com. “But the growth of the last three months has been on another level.”

$260.4m, or 90.6 per cent, of November’s bets were made online, producing $16.8m in revenue. Meanwhile, retail betting generated $26.9m in wagers, creating $2.9m in net receipts.

Caesars once again topped the online market with $104m in wagers, yielding $4.7m in revenue. DraftKings was second with $75.1m in online wagering, producing $4.2m in net receipts. Barstool Sports, which launched on Nov. 2, generated $770,576 in revenue on $9.7m in bets.

Diamond Jo Worth led the retail market with $6.7 in bets, yielding $2.3m in revenue. Ameristar Council Bluffs was second with $5.6m in wagers, which led to $1.8m in net receipts.

Football has been the main driver of growth for the last three months. But the NBA continues to be a popular bet, and the opening of the college basketball season in November helped boost sportsbooks.

“Football is driving record growth this fall, not just in Iowa but all over the country,” Mitchell said. “But with four Division I basketball programs, Iowa’s sportsbooks have an opportunity to grow some more this winter, especially if Iowa and Iowa State continue to play well.”

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