DraftKings became the first mobile operator aside from William Hill/Caesars to generate the highest mobile handle in Iowa in any month since the state launched sports betting in August 2019, according to figures for March released by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
DraftKings, which entered the Hawkeye State in February 2020, accepted $64.9 million in wagers for the month, accounting for 31.1% of the overall $208.3 million in mobile bets placed in Iowa. Caesars, which had paced mobile handle in Iowa every month due in part to being available in multiple locations when in-person registration was mandatory through the end of 2020, was a distant second with $49 million in handle.
The overall handle for the state including retail betting was $233.5 million for the month, an 8.2% improvement from February that was boosted by three extra days of wagering and the NCAA Tournament. The tournament, however, helped operators to a mixed degree, given that the Hawkeyes — a trendy Final Four pick after winning the Big Ten tournament — were upset in the first round. Iowa State, though, did surprise in making the regional semifinals as an 11 seed.
Operators claimed more than $14.4 million in revenue, a 68% surge from the previous month, as the win rate was 6.2% — more than two full percentage points higher than February’s hold. The revenue total was the second-highest in state history, trailing only the $19.7 million collected last November.
The state narrowly missed collecting $1 million in tax receipts for what would have been just the second time since launch, finishing $27,009 short.
At $752.8 million, handle is up 65.6% for the first three months of 2022 compared to last year, while revenue is only 14.6% higher because the win rate is 4.7% — nearly 2.5 percentage points lower than a year ago. State tax receipts are $336,928 ahead of their 2021 pace with more than $2.5 million.
Downturn after bright 2022 start for Caesars
Caesars/William Hill is still the only mobile operator in Iowa to surpass $1 billion in total handle, but its combined February and March handle of $111 million is less than its January total of $112.7 million. DraftKings, which finished second in revenue with nearly $2.8 million, did not have its all-time record handle for March, with its high-water mark of $76.4 million coming last October.
FanDuel, however, did set its all-time high for handle in the state as its $47.5 million made it a close third to Caesars for March. It took top revenue honors for mobile operators, claiming more than $3.7 million thanks to a 7.8% hold. BetMGM pipped Caesars for third in revenue, using a strong 10% hold to finish third with nearly $2.3 million, about $90,000 more than Caesars.
Barstool Sportsbook continued to strengthen its hold on fifth for handle since entering last November, improving 19.3% from February to $7.4 million. It has averaged more than $8 million handle in its first five months of operation and is less than $6,000 shy of $1 million in revenue in the state after keeping nearly $430,000 worth of wagers placed in March.
After a run of 10 consecutive months generating at least $1 million in handle, Penn National Gaming brethren theScore Bet has yet to do so in 2022, as it totaled slightly more than $750,000 for March. Its handle for the month was 67.7% lower than its peak of $2.3 million last September.
The overall mobile win rate was a shade over 6%, which was the highest since 6.5% in November but also the seventh straight month it was below the industry standard of 7%.
Diamond Jo properties swing back to positive
After the Super Bowl likely contributed to operator revenue losses totaling more than $180,000 in February at both Diamond Jo sportsbooks in Worth and Dubuque, the two venues bounced back to finish nearly $530,000 ahead in March. Diamond Jo’s Worth location came close to $8 million handle for the second time since launch and claimed $353,006, while the Dubuque location posted a strong 22.7% win rate as it collected more than $175,000 from just under $775,000 wagered.
On the western side of the state, Ameristar in Council Bluffs topped $5 million handle for the sixth time in seven months and reported more than $430,000 in revenue. Its $1.4 million revenue for the first three months of the year leads all retail locations and represents 28.6% of the overall $4.9 million claimed by brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Iowa this year thus far.
Retail operators had a 7.3% hold in March, claiming more than $1.8 million in revenue from $25.3 million wagered. It was the ninth time in 30 months of wagering (when accounting for months casinos were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic) that retail handle cleared $25 million.