The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reported $20.7 million in sportsbook operator revenue for December, capping a year where the house fared relatively well when Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale didn’t make his way to the Hawkeye State.
It was the second time in 41 months that Iowa sports wagering operators cleared $20 million in monthly revenue, with the other coming as part of the house’s historic nationwide rout in September. December’s revenue was more than triple the paltry November total of $5.8 million, a figure dragged down by McIngvale’s $10 million payday cashing $1 million Houston Astros futures bets with Betfred and Unibet.
McIngvale did put a noticeable dent in 2022 operator revenue, which totaled $165.6 million. Despite the Houston-based furniture magnate’s eight-figure haul, revenue surged 45.4% compared to the 2021 total of $113.9 million, aided by a 15% increase in year-over-year handle to $2.3 billion and a 7.1% win rate that was 1.5 percentage points higher than last year.
The increase in revenue led to a swelling of state coffers, which received $12.3 million in tax receipts for the calendar year. That was an increase of $3.6 million from last year, as the overall total since launch in August 2019 surpassed $25 million.
December’s handle of $229.9 million was down compared to both the prior month and to December 2021, declining 7.1% and 13.7%, respectively. It was still the eighth-highest total all-time and enough to make Iowa the 12th state to surpass $5 billion handle in the post-PASPA era. The 9% win rate was 6.5 percentage points higher than November, as the house did not have any notable large payouts.
DraftKings scores mobile handle-revenue double
DraftKings paced all mobile sportsbooks in both handle and revenue for December, clearing $6 million in revenue for the second time in history while accepting $69.8 million in wagers. That capped a solid year for the Massachusetts-based outfit, which edged out FanDuel as the top revenue generator by less than $600,000 with $46.4 million — despite having $176.6 million more handle with $654.8 million in bets.
FanDuel had a state-best 10.2% hold for the final month of the year, as it claimed $5.1 million in revenue from $50.4 million in bets. FanDuel finished with a 9.6% win rate for the calendar year, as it claimed $45.9 million in revenue from $478.1 million in wagers.
The four biggest handle generators — a group that includes Caesars and BetMGM — all had win rates of 8.5% or higher in December. Caesars picked up $3.4 million in revenue from $40 million handle, while BetMGM racked up $1.8 million in revenue from $20 million in wagers. Caesars finished second in Iowa for handle this year with $511.1 million and a comfortable third in revenue with $27.7 million.
BetMGM was the only other book to reach nine figures in 2022 handle at $215 million, claiming $19.5 million in revenue thanks to a 9% hold. Barstool Sportsbook‘s first full year in the Hawkeye State was a solid one, as it finished fifth in handle with $77.4 million. PointsBet, however, pipped it by about $145,000 for fifth in revenue for the year at $4.4 million, as the Australian-based book had an 8.4% win rate on $52 million in wagers compared to Barstool’s $5.5 million.
BetRivers took a small loss in December, as bettors came out nearly $64,000 ahead on $6.3 million in wagers. The sportsbook’s only other losing month came in October 2021, when it paid out $118,000 on top of the $3.7 million handle.
Circa Sports‘ numbers for a full 12 months of wagering in Iowa after its late 2021 launch came to nearly $14.5 million handle and $300,000 in revenue for a win rate of nearly 2.1%. Despite having more than half its 2022 handle come over the last four months of the year, Circa had a 1.2% hold in that span and collected less than $100,000 in revenue.
The end of the year also saw Unibet’s exit from the Iowa sports wagering space as part of its decision to concentrate on jurisdictions where iGaming is or could eventually be legal. Being on the hook for one of McIngvale’s winning bets didn’t help the bottom line, as Unibet finished $5.2 million in the red for 2022, with Mattress Mack’s $1 million wager accounting for nearly 30% of its $3.3 million handle. Betfred finished $4.6 million in the hole for 2022, due in large part to McIngvale, and had $10.6 million in overall handle.
Retail books finish 2022 with a flourish
The state’s 18 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks combined for a 13.5% hold in December, with all five double-digit monthly holds posted in the second half of the year.
The six-month revenue splits for Iowa’s retail betting were notable, with 70% of the $22.9 million revenue claimed in the back half of the year. Operators had a 13.3% hold on $118.3 million handle from July through December compared to a 6.3% win rate from January to June, when they clawed back $7.1 million in revenue from $113.3 million in wagers.
Diamond Jo in Worth led all retail action with $69.11 million in handle and more than $5.4 million in revenue. Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs was a close second in revenue with nearly $5.4 million, finishing less than $66,000 off Diamond Jo’s total thanks to a 10.8% win rate on $50 million in accepted wagers.
Council Bluffs saw plenty of action, as the venues next to the Nebraska state line accepted $89 million in bets among Ameristar, Harrah’s, and Horseshoe. Wild Rose’s sportsbooks in Clinton, Emmetsburg, and Jefferson had a combined 14.2% hold, claiming $635,000 in revenue from $4.5 million handle.
Four individual venues — Ameristar, Diamond Jo in Worth, Grand Falls, and Hard Rock — cleared $1 million in revenue for the calendar year, with Hard Rock collecting $400,000 in the final two months of the year to narrowly hit the benchmark.