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Iowa Sports Handle Tops $100 Million for First Time

The final month of 2020 proved to be the best month ever for the Iowa sports betting industry. Total sports betting handle came in at $104.8 million, which is the first time that the state has gone over the $100 million mark.

December was the fourth straight month that saw an increase in sports betting handle, but it was the biggest jump of them all. Handle increased by over 20 percent from the $80.17 million that was reported in November.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission also reported that mobile betting was the most popular form of betting that took place during the month of November. Online wagering accounted for nearly 75 percent of the bets, or $78.07 million.


Online sports betting has dominated all of the total betting throughout the United States, with some states reporting over 90 percent of all wagers made in that form. Iowa has a large number of online sportsbooks and some of the biggest names in the industry.

During 2020, the total sports betting handle in Iowa was $575.24 million, and the revenue was just over $41 million. Those are solid numbers for the first full year of the industry, but they fall well short of some of the other states in the Midwest.

Year-over-year growth was even more promising for the state of Iowa as handle jumped up more than 76 percent from the December 2019 total. Online betting also saw a huge increase from the December 2019 numbers with an increase of more than 133 percent.

Revenue Down

As the sports betting handle increased during the month of December, the revenue actually saw a slight decrease. Sports betting revenue in December was $7.54 million, which was down from the $8.14 million that was reported in November.

November was a huge month for the entire US sports betting industry as sportsbooks were able to take advantage of favorable outcomes during the start of the NFL season. The decrease in salary is not a huge concern for the Iowa market, especially if the handle continues to climb.

Remote Registration Now Available

Just as Iowa has started to see a surge in sports betting, an even bigger increase is expected to start the New Year. The in-person registration requirement that was initially set when sports betting was legalized has now been lifted, and mobile registration is now available as of Jan. 1.

This in-person registration requirement was holding the market back in the state, and it has allowed other states in the Midwest to blow past the Hawkeye State. It’s unclear just how much of a boost this will have to the market, but looking at the numbers from January 2021 will be a good measuring stick.

Sportsbooks in the state were ready to accept remote registration on Jan. 1, as most operators already offer this form of registration in other states. This will help Iowa compete with Illinois, especially in the Quad Cities area.

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