Iowa saw a slight drop in sports wagering handle in May, the second straight month of a decline in sports betting action.
The 18 Iowa casinos that offer sports wagering combined for a total handle of about $114.88 million, a decrease of approximately 2.9% from April ($118.36 million). In April, Iowa’s handle was down substantially from March when the handle was $161.44 million.
The slide in sports wagering at Iowa sportsbooks is reflective of the sports calendar. From September through the Super Bowl in early February, sports wagering activity is supported by fan interest in the NFL and college football.
And from the Super Bowl through early April, there is considerable wagering enthusiasm for college basketball and especially March Madness. For April, the end of the college basketball championship tournament is also buttressed by some NBA and NHL betting and the start of baseball.
Online Outpaces Retail Sports Wagering
As usual, online sports betting outpaced retail sports wagering. Online sports betting amounted to $99.92 million, or about 87% of May’s total handle. The online wagering handle followed the same trajectory as the total handle dropped 4.4% from April ($104.51 million).
As far as net receipts were concerned, the May total in Iowa was $6.13 million, down about 20.6% from April ($7.73 million). The revenue figure indicates a hold of about 5.3% in May compared to 6.5% in April.
The state collected $414,175 in taxes from sports gambling in May compared to $521,455 for the previous month, according to figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Among casinos, Diamond Jo-Dubuque held the lead with the largest handle ($16.38 million), followed by Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo ($15.38 million), and Wild Rose-Jefferson ($15.34 million). Diamond Jo-Dubuque was also the leader in net receipts with about $1.53 million.
PlayUp To Enter Iowa Market
Australian-based PlayUp announced Tuesday that it gained sports betting market access in Iowa with Caesars Entertainment. It will also launch sports betting in Indiana and iGaming in New Jersey.
PlayUp said it has started the regulatory process in Iowa and hopes to launch this year.
Casinos in Iowa can add a third sports betting skin after the state's Administrative Rules Review Committee recently approved the rule change. It went into effect on March 10.
Live with online sports betting in Colorado, PlayUp is waiting for approval in New Jersey for its sports betting product. Colorado is the first U.S. market for PlayUp to launch in.
PlayUp’s product offering includes sports betting, daily fantasy sports, horse racing (fixed and pari-mutuel odds), eSports and fantasy on horse racing and eSports.
BettHouse, a tech start-up company founded last year and based in Las Vegas, was expected to launch in Iowa in April, but has not gone live.
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