The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reported a sports betting handle of more than $108.4 million for August on Monday, a sizable bounce-back from July, when it failed to reach nine figures for the first time in eight months.
Handle was up 21.9% compared to the $88.9 million wagered in July. The IRGC does not break out handle and revenue by sport, but college football betting at the tail end of the month for both Iowa and Iowa State ahead of their respective Sept. 4 season openers likely helped. The August handle was also up 115.5% compared to August 2020, when the sports world finally began ramping up after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The August win rate in the Hawkeye State was 6.1%, nearly two full percentage points lower than July (7.98%). As a result, revenues slipped 6.9% month over month to just over $6.6 million, and operators have claimed nearly $68.5 million in profits for the year.
Adjustments from multiple operators amounting to $40,394 meant the tax receipts collected by the state totaled $486,608, a 1.5% increase from July. Sports betting revenue has generated nearly $4.7 million in state taxes through the first eight months of the year.
Bettors nearly break even on Caesars mobile
The rebrand from William Hill to Caesars has not stopped the sportsbook from maintaining its crown in Iowa, as its $34.8 million handle for August accounted for 36.3% of all online handle. But to play off its ad campaign of “We are all Caesars,” Iowa bettors made out royally, as the house posted a measly 0.66% win rate and claimed less than $230,000 in revenue.
Hawkeye state bettors also deserve an emperor’s thumbs up for their play versus Caesars over the last four months. The mobile sportsbook has failed to notch a monthly win rate above 3.92% in that span and has collected just $3.3 million in revenue off $130.8 million in wagers.
DraftKings took top honors for mobile operator revenue in August, with nearly $2.3 million from $29.9 million wagered. FanDuel was the only other mobile sportsbook to reach seven figures, but barely: It collected close to $1.05 million from $14.1 million bet. BetMGM ($8.4 million) and PointsBet ($2.8 million) rounded out the top five in handle, and the quintet represented 93.7% of the close to $96.1 million wagered online.
Mobile operators had an overall win rate of 4.89% in August, collecting close to $4.7 million in revenue. Q Casino (15.56%), Betfred (13.68%), Bally Bet (12.71%) and PointsBet (10.23%) posted double-digit win rates, with PointsBet the lone one of the four to record a seven-figure handle.
Brick-and-mortar books pick up the slack
Iowa’s “Big 3” retail books — Ameristar and Horseshoe casinos in Council Bluffs and Diamond Jo in Worth — picked up the revenue slack by combining to collect more than $1.2 million from $8.5 million wagered at those venues. Overall, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks totaled $1.9 million in revenue and posted a 15.43% win rate from more than $12.3 million bet.
Nine of the state’s 18 retail books had win rates above 20%, with Riverside Casino setting the pace at 30.82% on $229,159 wagered. Though Diamond Jo in Worth finished second with $246,325 in revenue, its hold of 7.34% beat out only Wild Rose in Emmetsburg (0.9%). That venue collected a mere $737 from $82,044 in bets.