Iowa Sees Encouraging Signs for Sports Betting Growth

Iowa bettors continued to enjoy the state’s recent legalization of wagering as the sportsbooks increased their handle from $38.5 million in September to $46.5 million last month.

Since the state legalized sports betting in the middle of August, sportsbooks have handled $93.6 million in total wagers.

In what is, perhaps, a strong indicator of future growth for the state, online bets have reached a total of $51.4 million of the $93.6 million with just seven of the 18 casinos offering mobile wagering.

“I think Iowa has a lot more potential to unlock,” said Max Bichsel told the , vice president of U.S. business for the Group told The Gazette.


As it stands currently, casinos in Altoona, Bettendorf, Davenport, Larchwood, Osceola, Riverside, and Waterloo have all acquired licenses for online betting. With eleven more available casinos ready for mobile sports betting, the state could see the monthly handle soar once all sportsbooks are running at full capability.

“I fully expect there to be a lot more mobile operators than just seven,” said Bichsel. “That’s really an inhibitor to growth and really getting the numbers up there in the hundreds of millions versus the tens of millions in terms of handle. I think that’s the way that you exponentially grow the business, so that’s really the only down side of those Iowa numbers — thinking what they could be.”


When Will the Other Casinos in Iowa Offer Online Betting?

Another obstacle in reaching the maximum ceiling for sports betting in Iowa is the law that requires in-casino registration from bettors before they can use mobile apps in the state.

However, that requirement ends on January 1st, 2021 according to the sports betting law signed by Governor Kim Reynolds.

Wes Ehrecke of the Iowa Gaming Association tells The Gazette that online betting in the state will be available in other casinos by the end of 2019.

“It’s my understanding there will be a few more before the end of the year or even by the end of the month, just to get that technology worked out with the apps to have to be able to offer the online. I think that will certainly make a difference,” said Ehrecke.

“The interest in October was pretty good,” he added. “As this continues to mature, the interest will continue to grow and likewise the revenues to the state.”


Revenue from sports betting for the state’s casinos increased from $4.9 million in September to $5.6 million a month later. For the year, winning revenue for the sportsbooks has reached $12.78 million over the length of legalized sports betting in Iowa.

In another encouraging sign, sports betting has augmented other gaming options as the state’s casinos have seen a bump of seven percent in gambling figures in the three month period starting in July from the same timeframe of a year ago.

For November, Bichel told The Gazette that the month should see another rise in revenue as the calendar hits “prime sports betting time.” With college and professional football intersecting with professional hockey and pro and college basketball, there will be plenty of events for bettors to channel their money.

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