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Iowa punches above its weight when it comes to sports betting, and with recent regulatory changes, the Hawkeye State is poised for further growth in revenue.

Investors, sports fans, journalists, and others are interested in tracking sports betting revenue, and looking at a state’s market in-depth can glean valuable insights.

We’ll keep you up to date with the latest revenue data and analysis from the sports betting business in Iowa. Explore the tables below to see how Iowa’s sports betting market has grown in its first two years, plus learn what might be in store for 2021 and beyond.

Iowa Sports Betting Revenue: Annual Figures

The table below shows Iowa’s annual sports betting handle, gross gaming revenue, and hold percentage, as well as state tax revenue collected since legalization.

Here’s what each column represents:

  • Handle is the total amount wagered on sports.
  • Revenue reflects the gross gaming revenue kept by sportsbooks after paying out winnings.
  • Hold percentage shows how much revenue sportsbooks kept as a function of the betting handle.
  • State tax revenue displays taxes collected by the state and local jurisdictions.
Year Total Handle Revenue Hold Percentage State Tax Revenue
2019 $212,389,254 $19,280,285 9.08% $1,301,418
2020 $575,239,746 $41,629,263 7.24% $2,806,655

The Iowa market grew in the past year, but it’s hard to compare the numbers for 2019 and 2020 accurately. Sports betting was only live for 4.5 months of 2019, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. That said, looking at the above figures, one aspect should be noteworthy to bettors: the hold percentage lowered in 2020. A lower hold percentage is good news for Iowa sports bettors, and IA’s dropped down to right around the national average of 7.18 percent in 2020.

Latest IA Revenue News

Here’s what happened most recently with regards to Iowa sports betting revenue.

July 2021 – Iowa reports its lowest betting handle since November 2020, with just under $89 million wagered on sports in July. With NFL preseason action taking place in August, the Hawkeye State’s betting volume should be back up in no time. 24 months in, legal sports betting has attracted a betting handle of $1,675,587,066 and gross gaming revenue of $122,796,431 in Iowa.

June 2021 – Iowa reports a betting handle of $111 million in June, with sportsbooks keeping over $8 million in revenue. This is Iowa’s lowest handle thus far in 2021 but continues the Hawkeye State’s streak of seven straight months of over $100 million taken in.

May 2021 – Iowa’s sports betting handle takes another dip in May, with bettors wagering just under $115 million. Still, through five months of 2021, Iowans have already wagered $687,818,018, which is more than they did bet in all of 2020 ($575,239,746).

April 2021 – April was the slowest month of 2021 for the Iowa sports betting industry with just $118 million wagered. However, this figure is still nearly $15 million higher than any other month prior to this calendar year, so not a cause for concern at this point. Iowa sportsbooks have now surpassed $100 million in gross gaming revenue since legalization in August 2019.

March 2021 – Iowa’s sports betting handle continues to climb, with $161,439,561 wagered in March. The NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament helped push the Hawkeye State to new monthly records in handle and gross revenue ($13,454,158).

February 2021 – Iowa reports another $143,615,170 wagered on sports, a 152 percent increase from February last year. This report pushes Iowa’s all-time total handle over $1 billion. It is the seventh state to reach this mark.

January 2021 – After removing the in-person registration requirement for online betting, Iowa hits a new monthly record of $149,524,789 bet on sports. This is a 158 percent growth from January 2020, and almost $45 million more than its previous best month. Further, monthly gross revenue exceeds $10 million for the first time.

Iowa Sports Betting Revenue: Month-by-Month

Sports Betting Dime tracks the growth of legal sports betting by tallying monthly revenue reports for each state.

The table below shows the Iowa sports betting industry’s key financial figures from launch in August 2019 to date.

Month/Year Total Handle Revenue Hold Percentage State Tax Revenue
August 2019 $8,756,246 $2,161,688 24.69% $145,914
September 2019 $38,528,921 $4,956,347 12.86% $334,553
October 2019 $46,500,443 $5,658,243 12.17% $381,931
November 2019 $59,344,806 $3,599,750 6.07% $242,983
December 2019 $59,258,838 $2,904,257 4.90% $196,037
January 2020 $58,027,141 $3,234,794 5.57% $218,349
February 2020 $56,920,783 $755,334 1.33% $50,985
March 2020 $19,576,985 $1,171,164 5.98% $79,171
April 2020 $1,568,497 $150,331 9.58% $9,502
May 2020 $6,976,637 $501,062 7.18% $32,111
June 2020 $12,711,201 $620,740 4.88% $42,033
July 2020 $22,859,622 $2,244,021 9.82% $151,919
August 2020 $50,313,674 $3,003,903 5.97% $202,316
September 2020 $72,397,241 $5,167,819 7.14% $348,828
October 2020 $81,902,416 $9,098,995 11.11% $612,967
November 2020 $87,169,919 $8,144,096 9.34% $549,726
December 2020 $104,815,630 $7,537,004 7.19% $508,748
January 2021 $149,524,789 $11,343,303 7.59% $765,673
February 2021 $143,615,170 $7,708,148 5.37% $520,444
March 2021 $161,439,561 $13,454,158 8.33% $908,011
April 2021 $118,355,535 $7,725,272 6.53% $521,455
May 2021 $114,882,963 $6,133,477 5.34% $414,175
June 2021 $111,176,671 $8,424,699 7.58% $568,502
July 2021 $88,963,377 $7,097,826 7.98% $479,479
Total (since launch) $1,675,587,066 $122,796,431 7.33% $8,285,812

Our team will update this table monthly with the figures provided by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

It’s very promising that monthly betting handles have consistently been up year-over-year since we could make the first comparison in August 2020.

Iowa Market Overview

Context is key to understanding any industry, and sports betting is no exception. Here’s some important information to keep in mind when evaluating Iowa sports betting revenue reports.

State Population (2020 Census): 3,190,369

In-state Pro Teams: None

Launch Date: August 15, 2019

Biggest Monthly Handle: $161,439,561 (March 2021)

Regulator: Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission

Platforms: Online and retail

Tax Rate: 6.75 percent

Iowa Sports Betting Revenue Insights

Iowa sportsbooks produce impressive numbers given the relative size of the market. Let’s look at how the Hawkeye State established itself as a thriving sports betting market and what to expect in 2021.

Small but Mighty

With a population of a little more than three million people, Iowa is by far the smallest of the first six states outside of Nevada to reach the $1 billion wagered mark. It is also the smallest to have taken more than $100 million in a single month. Here are the approximate populations of other states to reach this milestone as of January 2021:

  • New Jersey: 9.3 million
  • Pennsylvania: 13.0 million
  • Illinois: 12.8 million
  • Colorado: 5.8 million
  • Tennessee: 6.9 million
  • Michigan: 10.1 million

Iowa achieved this success by being relatively quick to move into the world of legal sports betting and by embracing online wagering. The state’s relatively low tax rate (6.75 percent) and affordable licensing fees have created a favorable environment for all the major sportsbook operators.

By the end of 2020, Iowa’s gross sports betting revenue surpassed $60 million, and the state collected more than $4 million in taxes. For context, that’s more than double what the retail-only industry generated in New York, a state with more than six times the population and some of America’s most well-known sports teams.

Iowans may not have an in-state pro sports team to cheer for, but they clearly have an appetite for sports betting, and it has been satisfied by allowing mobile wagering.

2021 Regulatory Adjustment Already Paying Off

We expect a significant sports betting boom in Iowa now that bettors can sign up for online sports betting from anywhere. Lifting the in-person registration requirement for online betting makes it much easier for sports bettors to get started from their computers and mobile devices.

The regulatory adjustment made on January 1, 2021, has already produced a noticeable difference. January’s monthly handle set a new state record ($149,524,789) in betting handle, 43 percent above the previous high.

Historically, around 70 percent of sports bets in Iowa were placed online. In February 2021, that number jumped to nearly 90 percent. Removing the in-person registration requirement should help Iowa sportsbooks attract new bettors and more casual sports fans. The Hawkeye State is on pace to handle more than $1.5 billion in sports bets in 2021 and could even surpass the $2 billion mark.

Your Source for Iowa Sports Betting

Sports Betting Dime will keep you up to speed with the best online sportsbooks and apps in Iowa along with betting rules, regulations and revenue insights.

Our in-depth Iowa sports betting information page has everything you need to know about sports betting in the Hawkeye State. You can also check out our state-by-state sports betting revenue tracker to see how IA compares to other markets across the United States.

Have fun and enjoy the action out there!

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A lifelong athlete and sports fan who’s worked in sports for over ten years, Natalie brings a firsthand perspective and keen interest in sports business to her work. She’s excited to observe and analyze the future of the sports betting industry as it heats up.