- Iowa sports betting handle increased by $5.7 million, or 82%, in June. Total handle was $12.7 million.
- Even with a hold rate under 5%, Iowa sportsbooks collected $620,000 in revenue—a 24% increase from May.
- Casinos have begun to reopen with limited capacity and social distancing requirements, but the return of live sports is what will really galvanize sports betting revenues in July and August.
DES MOINES, Iowa – From May to June, Iowa’s total monthly sports betting handle increased by 82%, indicating continued recovery from the initial crash caused by COVID-19.
The hold rate, or the percentage of handle captured as revenue, was only 4.88%, but the overall increase in betting action is an extremely positive sign as Iowa sportsbooks continue to recover from COVID-19.
Once again, the Wild Rose Jefferson Casino and Prairie Meadows Casino accounted for the bulk of sports betting action. Their combined June handle was $6.9 million, and their combined revenue was $354,000.
The Wild Rose is partnered with DraftKings, while Prairie Meadows is partnered with William Hill—two of the biggest online sports betting providers in the world.
Several major North American sports leagues are set to return to play in the next month, which should help aid in the continued financial uptick for Iowa sportsbooks.
Iowa Sports Betting Outlook For July And Beyond
It seems likely that relief is on the way for Iowa sportsbooks (and sportsbooks around the country) as major U.S. sports leagues prepare to return to staging live games in July and early August.
Major League Soccer was the first major league to return to play, with the MLS is Back tournament opening on Wednesday night. The NBA, NHL, and MLB are all set to return within the next four weeks as well, which should hugely bolster overall sports betting handle.
MLS is Back will be an interesting test case for the return of other live sports, as a rash of COVID-19 infections has already forced two clubs to withdraw from the tournament and the entire event has contended with a number of logistical hurdles.
If MLS can right the ship, its tournament should provide a road map for the other leagues. Once bigger leagues do resume play, expect betting handles to skyrocket in Iowa.
Casinos in the state are currently open and operating at 50% of max capacity. Online sports betting is also available throughout the state, although bettors must register their betting accounts in-person at a partnered casino.
Because of the in-person registration requirement as well as the overall economic downturn caused by COVID-19, it is unlikely that sports betting revenues will reach pre-pandemic levels in the next two months but expect betting handle to cross the $30 million threshold in August.
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.