Iowa sportsbooks smash wagers record in October by more than $70m

Iowa sportsbooks took in more than $280m in October bets, smashing September's record for monthly wagers by more than $70m.
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Iowa sportsbooks took in more than $280m in October bets, smashing September’s record for monthly wagers by more than $70m.

The Hawkeye state’s sportsbooks have now collected more in bets over the last three months ($599.8m) than in all of 2020 ($575.2m), according to, a source for news and analysis of the Iowa gaming market.

Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the Network, which includes, commented: “With baseball’s postseason, the start of the NBA, and a calendar packed with football, bettors found so much to bet on.

“Iowa has also made a significant leap forward in maturation as more operators launch and Iowans begin to feel more comfortable with online sports betting. A maturing market and busy sports calendar proved to be a powerful combination.”

According to official data, Iowa’s sportsbooks took $280.9m in wagers in October, up 243% from October 2020 ($81.9m) as well as breaking September’s handle record ($210.4m). Bettors averaged $9.1m per day during the month, an increase over the $2.6m per day during the same period last year.

Since launching, the Hawkeye state’s sportsbooks have now accepted $2.3bn in wagers.

Taxable revenue rose by 27.8% to $6.6m (October 2020: $2.8m) and by 14.7% from the $5.7m recorded in September. The combined gains yielded $514,643 in tax revenue for the state.

Russ Mitchell, lead analyst for, stated: “The enthusiasm over Iowa and Iowa State football waned a bit in October, but both are still drawing a lot of interest to the state’s sportsbooks.

“There won’t be another opportunity like the Cy-Hawk game featuring two Top 10 teams anytime soon, but on the whole, Iowa’s sports betting industry is in a great position headed into the final months of 2021.”

Online betting accounted for $249.9m (89%) of October’s handle, yielding $3.5m in revenue. Retail betting represented the remaining $31m, producing $3m in net receipts.

Caesars topped the online market with $97m in wagers, but lost $1.6m in revenue. DraftKings followed with $76.4m, producing $1.4m in net receipts.

Diamond Jo Worth led retailers with $7.2m in bets, yielding $788,755 in revenue. Ameristar Council Bluffs was just behind with $7.1m, producing $601,591 in net receipts.

Iowa’s online operator’s roster has grown over the past month with Fubo Sportsbook soft-launching on September 23, followed by Betway launching on October 1, and Circa Sports taking bets from October 7.

With Barstool Sports‘ launching on November 2, the Hawkeye state now has 17 online operators, the most per capita of any legal US market with more preparing to enter the market soon.

Ramsey added: “Iowa is an enticing market for operators because it has a fair regulatory framework and top operators, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, don’t dominate the market as much as in other states. That provides an opportunity for smaller operators to gain a foothold, which does not exist in larger and more established markets.”