August Rebound: IA Sportsbooks Snap Losing Streak

Written By Russ Mitchell on September 13, 2021 - Last Updated on September 14, 2021

It’s back to the books for students — and the latest Iowa sports betting report suggest it might be back to the sportsbooks for the 21-and-older crowd as well.

Sportsbooks in Iowa collected $108,417,527 in sports betting handle in August, according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) report on Monday.

The 21.1% gain in August snaps a four-month string of handle declines in Iowa. The state collected $89,545,900 in wagering handle in July. That month marked the first time handle fell below the $100 million mark in 2021.

The NFL preseason and a few Week 0 college football matchups helped Iowa casinos and sportsbook operators rebound from that 19.5% drop in wagering handle a month ago.

March still holds the betting record for most bets made in the state, with $161.4 million in handle.

IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko said that Iowa sports betting operators saw “a lot more energy here in the later part of August, compared to what we saw this summer.”

Ohorilko said:

“We’re starting to see a number of promotions and marketing really ramp up in this state. And that is consistent with the start of college and NFL football season. Those promotions will generate traffic with respect to wagering with the online sportsbooks. I think we’re starting to see more and more interest. And then we’re starting to see some energy with regard to companies that have applications in. Specifically those companies are either getting the controls or certifications completed to launch.”

For August 2021, the Iowa casinos reported $6,604,647 in sports wagering net receipts, a decrease of 14.3% from the $7,707,349. in July.

The state collected $486,608. in tax revenue for the month.

August betting handle, by Iowa sportsbook

Caesars in Iowa held onto the lead with $34,834,344 in total handle, while FanDuel was the leader in revenue with $1,048.563. Most Iowa sports bettors are placing bets online, as internet betting accounted for 88.6% of August wagers.

Here’s how the books rank, by total sports betting handle:

  • Caesars: $34,834,343
  • DraftKings: $29,874,990
  • FanDuel: $14,116,985
  • BetMGM: $8,452,501
  • PointsBet: $2,765,860
  • Elite: $1,669,253
  • BetRivers: 1,666,319
  • theScore Bet: 1,342,909
  • Hard Rock: $522,844
  • Betfred: $392,167
  • Bally Bet: $225,844
  • Q: $203,256

Here are the complete numbers from the 12 sportsbooks in Iowa:

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleRevenueTaxes (6.75%)
Isle WaterlooCaesars$18,258,379$18,122,092$136,287$89,260$8,354
Diamond Jo DubuqueFanDuel$14,669,009$14,116,985$552,024$1,115,883$75,322
Wild Rose JeffersonDraftKings | BetRivers$12,905,053$12,843,661$61,392$1,091,593$73,701
Wild Rose ClintonDraftKings | BetRivers$12,053,802$11,945,583$108,219$690,569$46,613
Diamond Jo WorthBetMGM$11,808,855$8,452,501$3,356,354$754,895$50,957
Prairie MeadowsCaesars$10,487,825$10,047,264$440,561$149,231$33,043
Wild Rose EmmetsburgDraftKings$6,834,108$6,752,064$82,044$607,434$41,002
Ameristar Council BluffstheScore$4,899,658$1,342,909$3,556,749$658,139$44,424
Horseshoe Council BluffsCaesars$4,156,434$2,567,712$1,588,722$382,627$30,700
Catfish BendPointsBet$2,932,390$2,765,860$166,530$321,525$21,703
Isle BettendorfCaesars$2,090,818$1,803,348$287,470$58,871$11,750
LakesideCaesars$1,636,216$1,462,221$173,995$40,368$4,623
RiversideElite$1,418,296$1,189,137$229,159$181,050$12,221
Grand FallsBetfred | Bally Bet$1,157,902$618,011$539,891$194,979$13,161
Harrah's Council BluffsCaesars | Unibet$1,009,726$831,708$178,018$24,309$2,570
Hard RockHard Rock$994,076$522,844$471,232$145,456$9,818
Rhythm CityElite$669,669$480,116$189,553$39,302$2,653
Q CasinoQ Sportsbook$435,310$203,256$232,054$59,156$3,993
Total$108,417,526$96,067,272$12,350,254$6,604,647$486,608

Iowa-Iowa State betting will help IA cross $1 billion mark in September

Iowa came up about $3 million shy of collecting $1 billion in sports bets in 2021. With football in full swing, the state should fly past that milestone when September’s numbers come out a month from now.

Ohorilko said:

“In terms of the dollars, I will say that for this calendar year, the numbers have been a lot better than I think most of the operators had anticipated. I think there was definitely an expectation that we would see increased handle with the in-person registration requirements sunsetting. But that bump was really considerable. We’re still interested to see how a true year-over-year comparison is before we can really start settling in on what would be reasonable projections for any calendar year. And, we’re heading into our first period where it looks like we’ll have maybe a good year-over-year comparison.”

The state’s monthly sports betting report came out just two days after the IowaIowa State showdown for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. For the first time, both teams carried a top-10 ranking into the game. Iowa moved into the top five with its 27-17 win. The Cyclones stayed in the top 15 even after Saturday’s loss.

Ohorilko expected Cy-Hawk game attention to boost wagering volume:

“I do think we’ll see the more casual fan to go out and put a few dollars on either Iowa or Iowa State — not only this (past) weekend, but really any weekend.”

September’s numbers also will include handle for Unibet Sportsbook. It became Iowa’s 13th sportsbook on the first day of the month.

Ohorilko also said Fubo Sportsbook has met all of its requirements and could go live in Iowa at any time.

Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast / 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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