Iowa and Indiana Score Record Sports Handles in October

Elana K. - November 29, 2020

In October, Iowa hit a record-high handle of $81.9 million while Indiana reached its own record of $231 million. The majority of bets in both states were placed via mobile device.

Iowa and Indiana posted record-high sports betting handles in October, which is a good thing if they want to give their neighboring state, Illinois, a run for its money. Illinois has been the frontrunner of the 3 midwestern states even though sports betting went live last.


Iowa sports betting reached a record in October with a handle of $81.9 million. The previous record of $72.4 million was hit just a month before, but October surpassed it by more than 13%. Compared to October of last year, the sports betting handle increased by more than 76%. The entry of William Hill into the Iowa market last month helped boost October’s numbers. The UK betting giant took in nearly $35 million in bets.

Almost all Iowa casinos offer a form of mobile sports betting, which generated $56.9 million of October’s total handle. Retail handle hovered around $25 million. From all the bets placed, operators kept $9 million in revenue and paid $613,000 in taxes. Iowa has one of the lowest tax rates on sports betting at 6.75%, which has yielded more than $3.1 million in taxes since sports betting launched in August 2019.


Indiana sports betting reached its own record handle of nearly $231 million in October, an 11% increase from September, the previous record. The new October handle is a 150% year-on-year increase compared to October 2019. A whopping 84% of the total handle came from online betting. In total, casinos earned $167 million in revenue. Since sports betting launched in September 2019, gamblers have placed about $1.6 billion in bets.

Football was the most heavily bet-on sport and generated $84.7 million in bets. Parlay bets were the second-most popular in October, with a handle of $61.1 million.

Both Iowa and Indiana sports betting officials credit their high handles with the end of the NBA finals, the World Series, NFL football, and Big Ten football all coinciding in October. If the states can manage to maintain their momentum in November, that will be an impressive feat.


In September, Illinois reported a massive handle of $305 million, beating out its neighbors by a long shot. While October’s numbers aren’t in yet, if they're anywhere near September's, Illinois will be able to claim the sports betting crown of the Midwest.

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