Iowa’s August Sports Betting Revenue Figures Show Promise

Iowa’s August Sports Betting Revenue Figures Show Promise

Iowa’s Racing and Gaming Commission released their figures from the first month of sports betting and final revenue numbers were encouraging for the state’s 14 casinos.

Bettors in Iowa collectively wagered more than $8.5 million dollars at the state’s casinos over the first two weeks since legalization took place in the state in mid-August.

Racing and Gaming Administrator, Brian Ohorilko told Radio Iowa that the state’s casinos brought in around $2.1 million dollars in profit from early wagering.

“But a lot of that is due to the fact that Iowa reports sports wagering net receipts on a cash basis. And so those individuals who participated in future wagers that’ll pay off months from now — are reported as revenue until those bets are paid out,” Ohorilko said.


For the state, the last two weeks of August brought in around $146,000 in taxable revenue due to their low tax rate of 6.75 percent on casinos who take sports bets in their gaming facilities.

The top casino in Iowa for sports betting, Altoona’s Prairie Meadows Casino, brought in over $3.4 million in bets, with $2.2 million or roughly 65% of their betting handle, coming via their mobile app.

Against a total of $8,576,245.68 wagered in Iowa in the opening two weeks, bettors won just $6,414,558.15 from those bets, allowing the casinos to pocket a significant amount in the early stages of legalization.

Why Were Mobile Numbers in Iowa So Low in August?

Unlike states such as New Jersey that have seen mobile betting account for over 85% of all the bets taken, Iowa bettors were more reluctant to grasp the technology in the opening weeks.

Just 42% of all bets in the first month in the state were via a mobile app, a number that surprised Administrator Ohorilko.

“We’re seeing (mobile betting) at a much higher rate in other states that have both retail and mobile sports wagering,” he said.


One of the issues that Ohorilko noted causing mobile’s slow start is the Iowa law that requires all bettors to open an account on-site in a casino, a law that is in place until January of 2021.

“So I think that (the law) could be one reason why we are not seeing the high mobile percentages. I think also some of the apps that did launch were not where they wanted them to be, in terms of where the companies would want those mobile platforms to be,” Ohorilko said.


As with most states, Iowa saw their fair share of sluggish app and confusion on what bettors needed to do to open an account, a problem that Ohorilko expects will smooth out over the coming months.

“I think as some of this is worked out, it will be more convenient and customers if there is not a reason for them to go to a casino. It is reasonable to expect we’ll see the mobile piece really do better in the months to come,” he said.


Betting experts believe that the arrival of football coupled with a growing familiarity of the betting process should lift Iowa to high numbers in September.

More Sports Betting News

New Sports Betting Brand
Into a Crowded Field Maxim Magazine & Carousel Group Form New Sports Betting Brand
Maxim & Carousel Group partner to create new sportsbook outside the traditional realm …
9 April | 08:49 | Larry Gibbs
New York Legalizes Online Sports Wagering
New York Legalizes Online Sports Wagering but With Many Questions Left to Answer
Analysts fear the market will be “uncompetitive” with NY Lottery named for operations! …
8 April | 08:33 | Larry Gibbs
Wyoming Governor Signs Sports Wagering
In Quick Turnaround Wyoming Governor Signs Sports Wagering Into Law
Headlines for Wyoming sports legalized sports wagering will be featured upon two issues.  …
7 April | 10:53 | Larry Gibbs