Analysis: January 2022 Sets Single-Month Record; Numbers Offer First Look At The Year Ahead

Written By PlayIA Staff on February 11, 2022 - Last Updated on February 14, 2022
January 2022 sports betting

College football ended and the NFL shifted to the postseason, but betting volume in January 2022 still set a record, according to monthly figures released Friday.

The $303 million in bets was enough to push the state’s lifetime sports betting handle to $3.1 billion, easily surpassing the $3 billion milestone.

January 2022 online and retail sportsbooks in Iowa produced:

  • $303.3 million in wagers, $275.9 million of which came online. The monthly total was up 13.8% from $266.5 million in December and up 102.9% from $149.5 million in January 2021.
  • $14.3 million in revenue, up 6.7% from $13.4 million in December and up 25.8% from $11.3 million in January 2021.
  • $964,525 in tax revenue for the state.
  • Caesars again topped the online market with $112.7 million in wagers, which yielded $2.8 million in net receipts. DraftKings was No. 2 with $68.9 million in online wagering, producing $3 million in revenue. FanDuel’s $3.5 million in revenue led the state on $44.1 million in wagers.
  • Diamond Jo Worth led the retail market with $8.7 million in wagers.

Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, told PlayIA.com:

“More than two-thirds of all bets in Iowa have come over the last year, which shows just how much growth Iowa sportsbooks have enjoyed since the beginning of 2021. Removal of online registration requirements last year has been important, but the market was poised for significant growth regardless. And, as January shows, more growth will certainly come this year.”

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)HandleRevenueHoldTaxes
Isle WaterlooCaesars$70,329,050$556,5600.8%$37,568
Diamond Jo DubuqueFanDuel | Betway$45,501,435$3,639,1168.0%$245,640
Wild Rose JeffersonDraftKings | BetRivers | Circa$33,507,184$1,261,8453.8%$85,175
Diamond Jo WorthBetMGM$30,437,710$2,088,6856.9%$140,986
Prairie MeadowsCaesars$26,952,969$1,440,3035.3%$97,220
Wild Rose ClintonDraftKings | BetRivers$23,464,879$1,036,8584.4%$69,988
Wild Rose EmmetsburgDraftKings$18,592,842$843,3524.5%$56,926
Ameristar Council BluffstheScore Bet | Barstool$15,467,135$853,1295.5%$57,586
Horseshoe Council BluffsCaesars$8,475,275$476,2985.6%$32,150
Catfish BendPointsBet$6,151,282$541,0188.8%$36,519
LakesideCaesars | DRF$5,459,397$268,0194.9%$18,091
Isle BettendorfCaesars$5,058,266$506,08410.0%$34,161
Harrah's Council BluffsCaesars | Unibet$3,496,799$218,1536.2%$14,725
Grand FallsBetfred | Bally Bet$3,474,673$78,1802.2%$5,277
RiversideElite$2,511,848$93,0803.7%$6,283
Hard Rock Sioux CityHard Rock$1,675,108$180,13410.8%$12,159
Rhythm CityElite$1,320,687$96,8367.3%$6,536
Q CasinoQ$992,410$29,2803.0%$1,976
Casino Queen MarquetteFubo$458,737$62,62813.7%$4,227
Totals$303,327,688$14,269,5574.7%$963,195

Comparing January 2021 to January 2022

Starting with the January 2022 numbers released Friday, Iowa should have a consistent way to track year-over-year sports betting.

For the industry’s first 18 months — Aug. 15, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2020 — Iowa customers had to visit a casino in person to set up a sports betting account. Once a casino employee verified the customer’s ID, they could leave the casino and place their bets from anywhere inside Iowa state lines.

On Jan. 1, 2021, everything changed.

The Iowa in-person registration requirement expired. For example, customers didn’t have to visit one casino to set up a Caesars sports betting account and another casino to set up a DraftKings account.

You can sign up for an Iowa sports betting app from anywhere on a mobile device.

Plus, sports leagues began navigating the health and safety protocols to get through complete or nearly-complete seasons in 2021. That carried over to the first month of 2022.

Russ Mitchell, the lead analyst for PlayIA.com, said:

“The expanded NFL playoffs were a huge winner for sportsbooks in January, even as sportsbooks continue to see interest from Iowa and Iowa State basketball and regional favorites like the Chicago Bulls. With the Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament just ahead, sportsbooks should continue to see high betting volume numbers before tapering off some this spring.”

January 2022 numbers offer a look ahead

February 2021 was the first really big month of sports betting in Iowa. Iowans and visitors to Iowa placed $143.6 million in sports wagers that month, including $16.3 million in bets on the Super Bowl.

Betting on the NCAA Tournament led to a new single-month record with $161.4 million in bets placed in March.

That high mark stood until September, when Iowa customers placed $210.4 million in bets for the month. September was also when Iowa passed the $1 billion mark in bets for the calendar year.

December’s $266.5 million in sports bets is down a bit from 2021’s single-month record of $287.4 million in November. College football was less frequent as successful teams like Iowa and Iowa State got ready for their bowl games while the football season ended for others.

As for the rest of 2022, this weekend’s Super Bowl and basketball’s March Madness should increase sports betting volume again. Summers are quieter in the industry, but the fall of 2022 should bring back huge betting traffic.

Neighboring states could follow Iowa’s lead

Sports betting got its foothold nationally in May 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. It gave states the authority to decide if they want legal sports wagering in their jurisdictions. The ruling put states, including Iowa, on equal footing with the big sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

The Iowa Legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds then had to iron out the policies for what sports betting would look like in Iowa — if they were going to pass a sports betting package at all. They did, of course, and the first bets were placed in August 2019.

Iowa is still ahead of neighboring states. Many are still trying to navigate the sports betting process. Clockwise around the state:

Minnesota

Sports betting is getting a push in 2022, but the discussions are delicate between Minnesota lawmakers and the 11 Indian tribes that operate 19 casinos.

Wisconsin

The Oneida Nation amended its contract with Wisconsin to bring in on-site sports betting. The industry is just a few months old there, however.

Illinois

Illinois has sports betting policies in place, but online sportsbook sign-ups won’t be ready in time for this year’s Super Bowl.

Missouri

Sports betting bills are making their way through the Missouri House and the Missouri Senate. The policies have the support of the state’s 13 casinos and six pro sports teams. “Grey market” slot machines have hindered efforts in the past.

Nebraska

Voters opted-in on gambling with a constitutional amendment of their own in 2020. Now it’s up to the Nebraska Legislature and Gov. Pete Ricketts to set rules at the six racetracks authorized to add casinos. Voters didn’t authorize statewide sports bets, so game wagers will likely take place at the new casinos.

South Dakota

South Dakota allows on-site sports betting at its casinos in Deadwood, SD. A bill emerged from the state senate that would allow voters to consider statewide mobile betting with a constitutional amendment.

Photo by Matt York / AP
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