Iowa’s March Sports Betting Handle Increases but Wasn’t Record-Setting Numbers
Sportsbook operators in Iowa were looking forward to March as they expected better results compared to February. Numerous jurisdictions across the sports betting industry witnessed a decline in their monthly handles as there were barely any events that caught the attention of bettors besides the Super Bowl.
Looking at Iowa’s March Sports Betting Handle
According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, March’s sports betting handle has increased by 8.2% as bettors across the state have cast $233.5 million in wagers compared to February’s $215.9 million.
When comparing the year-to-date figures, the biggest difference is presented there. The numbers were higher by 45% as March 2021’s numbers noted a handle of $161.4 million.
However, it fell short of the all-time record that was posted in January due to football season. January was also the month the state welcomed full online registration as the handle surpassed $303.3 million.
The discrepancy between mobile and retail sports betting was easily noticeable in the Hawkeye State as well. Out of the $233.5 million sportsbook operators accepted for the month, $208.3 million was placed on online platforms. The remaining $25.2 million was wagered at retail sports betting locations across the state.
Revenue also skyrocketed for March as the total hit $14.4 million, a $5.8 million difference from February’s $8.6 million total. The figures were also up from March 2021’s total which brought in $13.5 million. The revenue total for the month of March was the second-highest total recorded since the sports betting market launched in Iowa.
The mobile sports betting revenue total was slated at $12.6 million, while retail brought in $1.8 million.
Read about Illinois’ sharp drop in sports betting handle.
March Madness Helped Bring Iowa Sports Betting Numbers Back
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is a big sports event bookmakers and bettors look forward to with multiple games to wager on for a couple of weeks. Russ Mitchell, a lead analyst for playia.com stated, “March Madness is typically the busiest non-football month of the year in the sports betting industry, and Iowa did not disappoint.”
He continued by saying, Sportsbooks also got a significant boost from the state’s schools. Iowa’s men and women won the Big Ten conference tournaments and received automatic NCAA Tournament bids. Iowa State’s basketball teams reached the Sweet 16 in both editions of March Madness. That generated significant enthusiasm statewide, and showed in March’s wagering patterns.”
The average sports betting volume is expected to drop after March, even with NBA playoffs, baseball, and major golf tournaments taking place. The MLB season started later than expected due to the extended lockout, as both parties involved couldn’t come to an agreement to start the season on time.
The sports betting industry may be headed toward slower summer months once again, though the Hawkeye State has maintained strong status in the industry. Another big jump is in the works when football season makes its return in a few months.
The gaming numbers of Iowa’s 19 state-licensed casinos were down 1.7% from March 2021’s figures, no surprise according to the administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, Brian Ohorilko.
There was no doubt about the slight decline as 2021 was a strong year in regard to gaming revenue. With three months remaining, gaming revenue in the fiscal year is up roughly 17%.