The Iowa sports betting numbers are in for the month of March, and the industry took a step back, but that was to be expected. The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament helped the state post impressive numbers in March, but there aren’t any popular betting markets available at this time.
Iowa set a new state record for total sports betting handle with $161.4 million in March, but the state saw a drop of more than 26 percent in April. Last month, Iowa saw just $118.3 million in total sports betting handle, and that could start a new trend that lasts over the next few months.
The April sports betting handle was an increase of more than 7,400 percent year-over-year, but all retail sportsbooks were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago. April is typically a slow month for the industry, and comparing the 2022 numbers to April 2021 will give a better idea of how much the industry struggled last month.
Revenue, Tax Numbers Down
The decrease in total sports betting handle also had an impact on the revenue and tax dollars that were seen by the state. The sports betting revenue was just $7.73 million in April after it had climbed all the way up to $13.45 million in March.
Iowa is one of a large group of states that is looking for new revenue sources to help the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The state collected just $521,000 in sports betting tax revenue in April after getting close to $1 million in March.
Casinos Taking Advantage
Every casino in Iowa was given the opportunity to offer both in-person and retail sports betting, and most casinos were quick to set up both forms of sports betting. Not all of the casinos took advantage of this right away, but now there are at least 18 different retail sports betting locations in the state.
The Diamond Jo Casino has been the leader of sports betting for several months, and that was the case once again in March. The Diamond Jo had a total sports betting handle of $18.45 million, which was just ahead of the $17.85 million wagered at Casino Hotel Waterloo.
More Growth Expected
Even though the sports betting numbers in Iowa are expected to slow down over the next few months, that could change if new online sportsbooks continue to launch. Lawmakers in Iowa recently passed a bill that allows each casino in the state a third sports betting skin.
TheScore Bet was the latest online sports betting option to launch in the Hawkeye State, but that came all the way back in February. There are still other operators that have been approved for a license, but some sites have had to delay their launch date.
BettHouse is slated to be the next online sportsbook in Iowa, but a launch was supposed to occur in April. With the lack of football over the next few months, there really isn’t a big rush for BettHouse as the industry is taking a step back.