Iowa Sports Betting Handle Increases by 120% in August

Published September 20, 2020 by Elana K

Iowa Sports Betting Handle Increases by 120% in August

In August, Iowa sports betting operators reported a handle of slightly over $50 million. From that, operators earned $3 million and the state earned $202,000 in taxes.

Iowa sports betting soared in August, according to recent figures released by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Sports betting operators reported a handle of slightly over $50 million, up nearly 120% from July’s $22.8 million handle. From that, the Hawkeye state earned about $202,000 in taxes, while casinos and sports betting operators earned slightly more than $3 million. Since sports betting was legalized in Iowa in August 2019, the state has earned more than $2 million in tax revenue.

The increase in handle is clearly due to the return of pro sports, including the NHL, NBA, and MLB. During the height of the COVID-19 restrictions in April, the state’s handle fell below $1.6 million — understandably so, as the state’s 19 casinos were shut down and pro sports came to a halt.

In August, nearly $35 million worth of bets were placed online and on mobile, with only $15 million placed at retail sportsbooks. Even though pro sports have resumed and COVID-19 seems to be under control, many people still prefer placing bets online as opposed to entering a land-based facility.

Sportsbook Handles

The Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino sportsbook generated the most revenue from all the state's operators, accounting for more than $14 million of the betting handle. A whopping $13 million from that came from online and mobile betting. In terms of retail sportsbooks, Ameristar in Council Bluffs generated a handle of $3.8 million, while Horseshoe in Council Bluffs, which has no online offerings, generated $1.9 million in handle.

With NFL season having started earlier this month, experts predict sports betting to reach an all-time high in September. 



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