November Bets Set New Single-Month Record in Iowa

Written By Russ Mitchell on December 10, 2021 - Last Updated on December 12, 2021
November Bets

Iowans don’t have to think too far back to remember the biggest IA sports betting month in the state’s history. November bet totals set a new record.

It’s the third-straight month that Iowa casinos broke new ground in sports betting volume, according to figures released by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) on Friday.

Customers at Iowa sportsbooks made $287,247,116 in wagers for the month. October held the previous record with $280,899,986 in bets.

November became the state’s top betting month even though October had five Saturdays for college football bets in Iowa and five Sundays to bet on the NFL.

IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko said betting markets were especially strong in November:

“The sports operators are offering a number of wagering opportunities. With professional football, college football, professional basketball, hockey — it’s just a very popular time of year.”

The IRGC staff gathers and audits sports betting amounts from Iowa’s 19 casinos each month. November’s handle — the total amount bet on sporting events — was up 2.26% from October.

Companies watch revenue as well as November bets

Iowa casinos reported $19,746,266 in sports wagering net receipts in November, an increase of 201.2% from $6,556,218 in October.

The state collected $2,063,733 in Iowa tax revenue for the month.

Here are the complete numbers from Iowa sportsbooks in November:

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleRevenueTaxes (6.75%)
Isle BettendorfCaesars$56,037,464$55,686,973$350,491$1,133,139$91,176
Wild Rose JeffersonDraftKings | BetRivers$34,750,142$34,329,253$420,889$1,701,117$274,972
Diamond Jo DubuqueFanDuel | Betway$33,789,168$32,794,112$995,056$4,342,228$293,100
Prairie MeadowsCaesars$30,148,654$29,101,551$1,047,103$2,173,785$216,393
Wild Rose ClintonDraftKings | BetRivers$27,584,079$26,995,078$589,001$1,363,664$202,437
Diamond Jo WorthBetMGM$26,167,390$19,500,185$6,667,205$2,292,305$315,192
Wild Rose EmmetsburgDraftKings$19,113,242$18,832,765$280,477$1,184,794$197,226
Ameristar Council BluffstheScore Bet | Barstool$17,245,533$11,665,491$5,580,042$1,766,006$119,205
Horseshoe Council BluffsCaesars$10,166,699$6,347,300$3,819,399$840,600$85,069
Catfish BendPointsBet$6,299,522$5,952,401$347,121$425,379$28,713
Isle WaterlooCaesars$5,543,348$5,070,208$473,140$524,012$57,703
Harrah's Council BluffsCaesars | Unibet$3,798,145$3,428,458$369,687$358,018$45,032
Grand FallsBetfred | Bally Bet$2,971,906$1,175,573$1,796,334$423,161$28,563
Hard RockHard Rock$1,942,956$729,955$1,213,001$260,809$17,605
Rhythm CityElite$1,826,500$878,241$948,259$189,566$12,796
Q CasinoQ Sportsbook$1,109,461$287,799$821,662$77,832$5,254
Casino Queen MarquetteFubo$415,336$347,672$67,664$40,119$2,556

Caesers led the state in November bets

Caesars in Iowa maintained its perch for betting volume in the state. Its partner casinos reported $103,968,884 in online handle. FanDuel was the leader in revenue, with $4,234,377 for November. Most Iowa sports bettors are placing bets online, as internet betting accounted for 90.6% of the wagers in November.

Here’s how the books rank by total online sports betting handle in Iowa for the month of November:

  • Caesars: $103,968,884
  • DraftKings: $75,082,914
  • FanDuel: $32,685,505
  • BetMGM: $19,500,185
  • Barstool: $9,974,433
  • PointsBet: $5,952,401
  • BetRivers: $3,969,171
  • Elite: $3,209,022
  • theScore Bet: $1,691,048
  • Circa: $1,105,012
  • Betfred: $757,332
  • Hard Rock: $729,955
  • Unibet $580,084
  • Bally Bet: $418,241
  • Fubo: $347,672
  • Q: $287,799
  • Betway: $108,607

Thanksgiving weekend fueled November’s record

Local fans had plenty of events they could invest in — both emotionally and financially with a bet in Iowa.

Iowa State locked in a Cheez-It Bowl berth, college basketball tipped off and the Iowa Hawkeyes football team went undefeated in November to earn the Big Ten West championship.

The Iowa-Nebraska Heroes Game has been a Black Friday tradition, but the Cyclones also got into the act. Iowa State bets paid off with a 48-14 win over TCU.

Ohorilko recalled a strong November in 2020 but:

“We don’t collect data from the operators on a daily basis or on an event basis. But, we do know that November numbers were very strong last year. Part of that is due to the Thanksgiving holiday … the NFL games that many people watch on Thanksgiving Day. All of the holiday basketball tournaments also occur that week.”

For Thanksgiving 2021, Iowa customers no longer needed a casino visit to sign up for sports betting. Out-of-state visitors and Iowa residents alike could sign up and bet on the Thanksgiving games right from home. The in-person registration requirement sunset at the start of the current year.

“I don’t think many people in the industry expected as significant of an increase as we’ve seen when the in-person registration went away,” Ohorilko said.

“Because of conversations from potential (sportsbook) applicants, we knew we were going to receive a number of new applications. And that is exactly what happened. A combination of new operators in the state, as well as the increased marketing to try to develop player acquisition is something that has really pushed this market and made it as strong as it is today.”

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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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