Online Registration Boosts Sports Betting in Iowa

Iowa’s sports betting handle in February amounts to $143.6 million boosted by the removal of in-person registration rules and the approval of three skins for casinos.

February Sports Betting Decreases Slightly

Iowa has hit a third consecutive month of nine-figure wagers, the latest data from Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reveals. According to the report, $143.6 million was bet on sports in the state in February. This number is slightly below the all-time high of $149.5 million reported in January.

The online segment accounted for $125.2 million or 87% of the total handle. As of January 1, betting regulations in the state were eased and casino players were able to register remotely. The change prompted operators, such as PointsBet and BetMGM to launch mobile sports betting apps in Iowa.

The abolition of in-person registration led to a surge in figures compared to February 2020. Overall sports betting handle was up 152%, online sports betting handle increased 231%, and overall sports betting revenue soared by 921%.

Some 61% of the total wagering handle in the state during FY 2020 (August 2019 – June 2020) was made online. In the eight months of FY 2021 so far (July 2020 – February 2021), 77% of the bets have come outside brick-and-mortar casinos.

February sports wagering revenue in Iowa was down 32% from $11.34 million in January to $7.71 million in February. Tax collections also decreased in February to $520,444, while the average hold for February was 5.37% compared to January’s 7.58%.

Super Bowl Generates Record Revenue

February’s Super Bowl brought in more than 11.3% of the month’s total revenue, $16.3 million. William Hill’s Isle Casino Waterloo was the leader with $21.86 million, followed by FanDuel’s Diamond jo Dubuque with $21.36 million.

Almost all 19 casinos in the state feature sports wagering and all of them offer Internet sports betting to customers. The only exception to sports wagering is the Casino Queen-Marquette, but it is expected to launch sports betting soon.

Third Sports Betting Skin Approval

The Administrative Rules Review Committee allowed casinos in Iowa to have a third sports betting skin as of March 10. The state welcomed TheScore Bet on February 16 through an agreement with Penn National Gaming. Thus, the Canadian sportsbook operator has four active states, including Colorado, Indiana, and New Jersey.

Without in-person registration, casinos permitted to add three skins and March Madness gaining momentum, Iowa sports betting might break new records in March.

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