FanDuel Encouraged By Iowa Registration Numbers As March Madness Approaches

Posted By Russ Mitchell on February 26, 2021

The sunset of the in-person registration requirement is paying big dividends for FanDuel, one of the top sportsbook in Iowa.

Cory Fox, FanDuel’s VP of Government Affairs and Product Counsel, said his sportsbook recorded six-to-seven times the number of new customer registrations in January 2021 compared to December.

In an interview with PlayIA, Fox said:

“The Super Bowl was a tremendous opportunity to engage new users. And we saw a tremendous growth in first-time patterns in January. We saw even more than that in February — no doubt because lots of folks who hadn’t quite gotten around to downloading the app and getting signed up. They went ahead and did it for the Super Bowl.”

Iowa sportsbooks collected $16.3 million in wagers on Super Bowl 55, an increase of $9.8 million from the Super Bowl a year ago.

Expect Iowa’s February gambling revenue and tax totals in about a week from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission; however, individual events, such as Super Bowl wagers and upcoming March Madness betting, won’t be itemized.

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Fox said more customers in Iowa made their first bet in January, than the sportsbook had in September through December 2020 combined:

“We think that March Madness is another one of those types of events where people are really excited to watch basketball all day, watch some surprising games and root on their alma mater. That is definitely a time when you can engage some fans who are sportsbook curious but haven’t quite taken the leap and downloaded the app and placed their first bet.”

Iowa made a profitable choice

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission saw a wave of sportsbooks enter Iowa’s market as online registration became possible.

FanDuel positioned itself to capture a healthy portion of that revenue. Sportsbook companies tend to keep specific numbers close to the vest, however. Fox said:

“It’s absolutely critical to have remote registration. Customers these days very much expect to be able to sign up and get going on their mobile device. You know, you can order an Uber on your mobile device, you can order food to your house on your mobile device. You can do pretty much anything — you can trade stocks, and practically take down the stock market on your mobile device. And so I think people really just expect to be able to do it all from there.”

Fox said in-person society’s desire for remote access is even more prominent in the era of COVID-19.

“We’re thrilled to be in the market there. You see a number of our competitors in the market there. So I think Iowans really have a great opportunity to use the best sportsbook app and make the sports wagers that they want to make across the board. So I think it’s really a great environment now.”

The FanDuel VP sees another opportunity for Iowa through online casino models like ones in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In the meantime, Fox points to FanDuel’s single-game parlay as a difference-maker in the market.

“It’s really an innovative feature that we’ve been one of the first to market with. You can place a number of wagers on the on the same game building on each other. It is a lot of fun, it’s been really popular with users and it’s not widely available.”

FanDuel looks beyond March Madness betting

Fox is a big NBA fan. He says he likes pro basketball’s potential for a strong spring and early summer.

“I think NBA is a tremendously important and loved product for both fantasy sports and sportsbook. And there is baseball this summer. And before long, we’ll be back to football. We have a lot of users who may be interested in the other FanDuel group products like TVG (the Television Games Network for horse racing).”

Photo by Charlie Neibergall / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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