Iowa Hits New Sports Betting Mark, Tops $100M for Handle in December


Iowa set a new sports betting handle record during the month of December, and that momentum should carry over into 2021. The sports betting industry topped $100 million in handle for the first time in December, and new changes to registration requirements should have that number continuing to rise.

Total sports betting handle came in at $104.8 million for December, easily setting a new record. The previous record was set in November, when the state totaled $87.17 million in sports betting handle.

That jump marks a 20 percent increase for the betting market in Iowa, and it’s only the beginning for the growth in the state. This is the fourth straight month that Iowa has set a new sports betting handle record.

Mobile betting once again brought in the most wagers in the state, and that is another trend that is expected to continue in the new year. Mobile handle accounted for nearly 75 percent of all of the wagers in Iowa, which was around $78 million.

Total sports wagering in Iowa during 2020 totaled more than $575 million.

Remote Registration Now Available

The numbers in Iowa are expected to grow tremendously in 2021 now that remote registration is now available. Iowa sports betting law required in-person registration through Jan. 1, but now bettors can sign up for an account using their phone or another mobile device.

This should allow Iowa to begin stealing some business from the state of Illinois as bettors from the Quad Cities will bet in the Hawkeye State. Online sportsbooks were ready for this change, and they began accepting online registration immediately on Jan. 1.

Revenue Down

Even though the total sports betting handle in Iowa was up in December, sportsbooks actually saw revenue decrease. Sports betting revenue was down more than 7.5 percent as bettors were able to take advantage of promotions and also did well while betting on football.

Revenue during the month of December was $7.54 million, while the revenue in November was $8.14 million. Year-over-year comparisons show an increase of more than 159 percent in revenue from December 2019.

William Hill Leading

There are a number of big names in the sports betting industry in Iowa, but it is William Hill Sportsbook that is currently leading the way. William Hill has partnered with the Prairie Meadows Casino, and that location brought in over $22.5 million in bets during December.

William Hill is now facing some serious competition from both FanDuel and DraftKings. Each operator saw a significant increase in total betting handle during November, and they could emerge as the new leader with the registration changes.

FanDuel operates sports betting at Diamond Jo Worth and Dubuque, and the total betting handle between the locations was more than $20 million. DraftKings has partnered with Wild Rose Casion in Jefferson, and its sports betting handle was more than $13 million during the month of December.