Doubling Up: June Sports Betting Handle In Iowa Nearly Twice Previous Month’s

Posted on July 10, 2020

While there are still lingering concerns about the status of sports, there is good news for sportsbooks in the Hawkeye State. Iowa sports betting handle in June was almost twice as good as the month before.

Iowa residents and visitors wagered about $12.71 million in June. May’s handle represented just about 54.8% of that total, at a mere $6.97 million. A big reason for the uptick was the reopening of Iowa casinos.

Breaking down the Iowa June sports betting numbers

Iowa casinos reopened in early June, which undoubtedly contributed to the rise in handle. Retail sportsbooks weren’t necessarily raking in the wagers themselves, but they have a crucial role for Iowa online sports betting.

Since January 1, an in-person registration requirement for online wagering remains the law in the state. While casinos were shuttered, therefore, only bettors who had already registered their accounts prior could legally place bets.

A lack of sports to wager on played a large part in Iowa sportsbooks taking in just $1.56 million in handle in April. However, the fact that new bettors can register their accounts again removed a huge obstacle. Online handle rose nearly 40% month-over-month.

SportsbookOnline handleRetail handleTotal handle
Prairie Meadows (William Hill)$4,484,421.39$30,929.45$4,515,350.84
Wild Rose - Jefferson (DraftKings)$800,785.67$4,481.98$2,359,884.87
Riverside Casino and Golf Resort (Elite)$1,032,075.64$24,015.88$1,056,091.52
Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo (William Hill)$890,958.08 $6,971.40$897,929.48
Isle of Capri Bettendorf (William Hill)$783,650.37$48,752.65$832,403.02
Q Casino (Q Sportsbook)$388,269.17$78,542.70$466,811.87
Rhythm City Casino (Elite)$329,640.06$47,901.16$377,541.22
Ameristar II$0$332,198.90$332,198.90
Wild Rose - Clinton (DraftKings)$311,364.27$18,276.81$329,641.08
Grand Falls Casino Resort (Elite)$221,551.55$101,707.85$323,259.40
Catfish Bend Casino (PointsBet)$313,458.30$0$313,458.30
Hard Rock Casino (Hard Rock Sportsbook)$177,921.49$33,000.15$210,921.64
Lakeside Casino (William Hill)$178,163.50$9,792.85$187,956.35
Horseshoe Council Bluffs$0$174,295.33$174,295.33
Diamond Jo - Worth$0$157,397.00$157,397.00
Wild Rose - Emmetsburg (DraftKings)$114,850.55$3,706.60$118,557.15
Diamond Jo - Dubuque$0$57,503.50$57,503.50
Casino Queen - Marquette$0$0$0
Harrah's Council Bluffs$0$0$0
Totals$11,581,727.26$1,129,474.21$12,711,201.47

Wins for Iowa brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and sports betting apps came to just over $620,000 for June, a jump of nearly 20% from May. The state collected almost $10,000 more in taxes for the month as compared to the previous month.

Those numbers represent a marked improvement, but even June’s handle is over $7 million less than operators took in during March. The return of North American team sports could further aid in recovery.

Iowa sports betting handle might be spry in July

Before the current month gives way to August, the following sporting events might be all ongoing simultaneously on the North American continent:

  • MLB regular season
  • MLS is Back tournament
  • NASCAR races
  • NBA playoffs
  • NHL playoffs
  • NWSL Challenge Cup tournament
  • PGA Tour
  • UFC bouts
  • WNBA regular season

If that ends up being the case, there will certainly be no shortage of events for Iowa books to offer action on. By the same token, bettors should be able to find markets to their liking.

That ideal situation greatly depends on the health of not only the athletes and other personnel involved in the games, but that of the general population in the areas where these events are scheduled to take place. The circumstances surrounding these contests rest on a knife’s edge.

MLS has already had to exclude two of its clubs from participation in its tournament due to positive COVID-19 testing. Several prominent professional athletes are opting out of coming seasons as well, like the Colorado Rockies’ Ian Desmond and the Washington Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne

The uncertainty of sports going forward might limit the potential for Iowa sports betting handle to continue to recover. The numbers from June are a good sign that recovery is possible, however.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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