The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reported sports wagering handle of $238.8 million for October, but operators in the Hawkeye State posted the lowest hold of any state nationwide in nearly two months worth of reports.
The 8% win rate is still above the industry standard of 7%, but was the lowest anywhere since the Nevada Gaming Control board reported a 3.9% hold for the month of August. The month of September, which still needs reports from Illinois and Arizona to complete national tallies, will end up being a historic rout by operators, with the current hold rate at 12.1%. The lowest hold among the 25 operators reporting to date for September was again Nevada, but it was a far more robust 9.3%.
Iowa‘s win rate was the first among seven states reporting for October to be below 10%. The percentage also ended a three-month run of holds 10.3% or higher in the Hawkeye State.
While revenue dipped 24.7% off September’s all-time high of $25.4 million, the $19.1 million claimed by operators in October still ranked third all-time in 39 months of wagering. Seven of Iowa’s top 10 monthly revenue totals have occurred this year, with August, September, and October all ranking in the top four.
The state’s low 6.75% tax rate makes it challenging to generate a high amount of receipts, but October’s revenue was enough to put $1.3 million in state coffers. It also marked the first time Iowa had back-to-back months with $1 million or more in tax receipts since accepting its first wagers in August 2019.
Handle dip could be part of nationwide trend
And introducing…@SuperBookIA $39.2K/$4280/10.91%
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) November 10, 2022
While it is uncertain if Iowa’s operator performance could mark a cooling off elsewhere, the state’s 15% decline in year-over-year handle from a then-record $280.9 million may be part of a trend. Nationwide handle last October set a short-lived record of more than $7.5 billion, but reports from Indiana and West Virginia also showed handle declines compared to October 2021.
It should be noted, though, that both states had October handle amounts for this year that ranked in the top six of their all-time totals, aided by the month again having five full weekends of college football and NFL wagering. Still, the combination of economic headwinds due to inflation and operators pulling back on promotional offers could be creating a challenging start to the fourth quarter compared to the final three months of 2021.
That said, there were bright spots for operators in addition to the sizable overall revenue haul. DraftKings reported an all-time high for handle at nearly $78.4 million, a figure which paced all operators and the highest of any Iowa operator since Caesars Sportsbook accepted $112.7 million in wagers in January.
DraftKings’ handle was 56.4% higher than FanDuel, which allowed it to complete the revenue double over its eternal rival with $5.6 million. FanDuel also set an all-time handle high in Iowa at $50.1 million, and finished runner-up in revenue at $4.6 million thanks to a 9.2% hold.
Caesars was unable to post a double-digit hold for a third straight month, but still grabbed the final podium spots for handle and revenue with $39.5 million and $2.9 million, respectively. BetMGM was able to push its 11%-plus win rate streak to three months, landing at 11.9% to reap $2.2 million in revenue from $18.2 million handle.
Barstool Sportsbook tightened its grip on the No. 5 handle spot with $9 million. PointsBet and BetRivers combined to accept close to $10 million in wagers, while Circa Sports set an all-time best for handle at $2 million. In its first full month of accepting wagers, ClutchBet generated more than $375,000 in handle, and SuperBook did $39,237 worth of business in its first five days of action in the Hawkeye State after launching Oct. 27.
Mobile sportsbook operators claimed $16.4 million in revenue from $212.8 million handle, resulting in a 7.7% win rate. That was more than four percentage points lower than September and the lowest since a 5.6% hold for August.
Retail books strong, with a few hiccups
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) November 10, 2022
The statewide hold for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Iowa for October was 10.5% — the fourth straight month in double figures, as operators collected $2.7 million in revenue from $26 million wagered. But there was some lack of uniformity, as two venues reported losses and another three finished below the 8% overall hold.
Diamond Jo in Worth paced all in-person locations for handle and revenue, as the $7.8 million handle sent it over $50 million for the year. The venue, which sits close to the Minnesota border, also became the first in state history to clear $1 million ($1,016,594) in revenue in back-to-back months, notching a seven-figure total for the third time overall.
Hard Rock had the biggest loss in terms of dollars as bettors came out $7,023 ahead on $1.2 million handle, while Lakeside Casino’s minus-3.2% hold was the worst, as it paid out $4,799 above the $150,334 in wagers accepted.
On the flip side, Casino Queen posted a 57.3% hold thanks in part to a small handle, keeping $14,143 of the $24,668 wagered. Grand Falls had the highest win rate among venues with a minimum of $1 million handle, reaching 16.4% to claim $250,000 from $1.5 million wagered.