Iowa Sports Betting Revenue Rebounds In December

Written By Adam Hensley on January 11, 2023
December 2022 sports betting revenue for Iowa came to over $20 million

One month after the Iowa sports betting industry took a blow thanks to massive World Series payouts, December’s figures show a solid rebound.

Iowa sports betting revenue for December 2022 came out to $20,745,523.93 – almost a $15 million jump from November’s $5,802,260.86 mark.

Here’s a complete look at the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s latest sports betting report.

Despite a jump in revenue, Iowa sports betting handle dropped

Iowa bettors gambled $229,949,569.62 on sports in December. That’s roughly a $17 million decline from November’s $247.5 million handle.

Iowa’s sports betting handle also dropped year-to-year when looking at December 2021’s numbers. One year ago, at this same time, Iowans gambled $266.5 million.

At that point, though, November 2021’s handle of $287.4 million dropped nearly $20 million to December 2021’s mark.

This isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. That decline could be a result of many different factors.

The sports betting market is more mature than it was a year ago. Sportsbooks also threw out plenty of free cash and bets for new users as well last year, which only incentivized betting.

Iowa’s sports betting revenue shows a $7 million jump year-to-year

December’s report showed improvement year-to-year in terms of the state’s revenue. In 2021, Iowa sports betting resulted in $13.4 million in revenue.

December 2022’s revenue total comes out ahead of December 2020, too, which stood at $7.54 million.

Why was the sports betting revenue so low in November?

Look no further than Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale. The legendary sports bettor placed future bets earlier this year on the Houston Astros to win the World Series.

With the Astros winning the title, Iowa sportsbooks paid MvIngvale his $12 million winnings – a direct hit to the state’s revenue total.

There wasn’t a question as to if Iowa’s sports betting revenue would bounce back in the month following this historic payout. After all, it’s not as though bets this large payout each month.

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Brian Ohorilko told PlayIA that this was the first time he’d seen any material payout of this nature.

Still, it was a step in a positive direction to see the state’s sports betting revenue move back toward normalcy.

DraftKings was Iowa’s most popular sportsbook in December

Looking at individual sportsbooks in December, DraftKings was the most popular option for Iowans with a handle of $69.82 million.

The next most-popular sportsbook was FanDuel, which saw a handle of $50.41 million.

Caesars’ handle came out to $39.61 million. BetMGM tallied a handle of $20.12 million to round out the state’s ‘big four’ of sportsbooks.

The Barstool Sportsbook tallied a handle of $7.17 million, but no other sportsbook totaled a handle of $7 million or more.

And just as it had the highest handle, DraftKings led the way with revenue as well. DraftKings’ December revenue came out to $6.05 million.

The next-highest revenue ($5.12) came from FanDuel. Caesars had the third-highest revenue total with $3.44 million. BetMGM was the last sportsbook to surpass $1 million in revenue for December, coming in at $1.76 million.

Four Iowa sportsbooks lost money in December

Four sportsbooks paid out more money than they took in for handle during December in Iowa.

BetRivers lost the most money of the four, down $63,763.32 in December. Superbook was -$11,538.18, Bally Bet was -$6,150.19 and Betway was -$6,135.65.

Dubuque’s Diamond Jo Casino earned the highest sports betting revenue total

The Diamond Jo Casino located in Dubuque led the way with a revenue total of $5.23 million.

Wild Rose, located in Jefferson, grabbed the second-highest revenue total with $2.52 million. The other Diamond Jo Casino in Worth had the third-highest sports betting revenue at $2.28 million.

Des Moines’ Prairie Meadows was next, following at $1.92 million.

Photo by PlayIA
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, who currently works for the USA Today Network. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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