Iowa Sports Betting Hits Record $275.9 Million Handle in January

Strong start to 2022 with revenue from online, mobile sports betting in IA totaling $12 million. New sportsbook DRF Sports launches but loses money in its opening month.
Iowa field at sunset, pretty oranges and blues behind grain silos on a farm. January was a great month for some and terrible for others. FanDuel was up 85% while five sportsbooks lost revenue, including IA's newest sports betting site.
By
February 28, 2022

Mobile and online sports bettors drove a record $275.9 million handle in January, with online sportsbooks collectively grossing $12 million during the month, according to data from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).

Handle grew 14.1% month-over-month ($241.7 million) while revenue grew 1.2% ($11.9 million). Payouts totaled $263.9 million in January, up 14.8% from the $229.9 million in payouts made in December 2021.

FanDuel Sportsbook led the field of 18 online sportsbooks in revenue, grossing $3.5 million in January. Revenue was up 85.8% month-over-month ($1.9 million). DraftKings Sportsbook was second with $3 million in revenue, flat from December.

Caesars Sportsbook was in third place for revenue, grossing $2.8 million in January — down 21.3% from December, when the operator grossed $3.6 million online.

BetMGM Sportsbook had the fourth-highest total for revenue in January ($1.6 million). Revenue was down 8.7% month-over-month ($1.7 million).

Of the 14 remaining online sportsbooks, only one saw its monthly revenue exceed $500k. Five sportsbooks grossed less than $100k in January and five lost revenue, including one that launched during the month.

PointsBet was fifth in revenue at $503k, followed by Barstool in sixth with $297k and BetRivers seventh with $116k. Elite Sportsbook was right behind BetRivers with $104k in revenue for eighth place overall.

Hard Rock Sportsbook ($91k), Fubo Sportsbook ($54k), Bally Bet ($24k), Betway ($13k), and Q Sportsbook ($2k) rounded out the list of operators to make a profit in January.

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DRF Sports Launches, Has a Rough Month

Daily Racing Form (DRF) Sports, a sportsbook owned by privately-held Affinity Interactive (AI) and powered by Kambi, launched in January on the license of the Lakeside Hotel Casino, a riverboat casino in Osceola.

Despite the enthusiasm that accompanies every new sportsbook launch, DRF Sports ultimately lost $4k in revenue in January. But four other Iowa sportsbooks still fared worse.

After grossing $60k in December, theScore Bet lost $15k in January. Likewise, Unibet went on to lose $34k in January one month after grossing $22k.

Circa Sportsbook grossed nearly $12k in December but lost $35k in January. Meanwhile, Betfred Sportsbook lost more than $42k in January, one month after grossing $82k in revenue in December.

Iowa casinos can have up to three different sportsbook brands. Lakeside also has Caesars Sportsbook on its license — both its retail and online sportsbooks.

Caesars Sports Dominates January Handle

Despite being third for revenue in January, Caesars Sportsbook crushed its rivals in handle, taking $112.7 million in bets. DraftKings was a distant second with a $68.9 million handle, followed by FanDuel at $44.1 million.

BetMGM generated a $21.7 million handle in January, while Barstool’s handle totaled $9.2 million. PointsBet and BetRivers had handles of $5.8 million and $5 million, respectively.

Elite Sportsbook ($2.6 million), Circa Sportsbook ($1.9 million), and Betfred ($1.3 million) were the only other operators to generate a handle of at least $1 million in January. Eight sportsbooks did not meet that threshold.

The IRGC will hold its next meeting on March 3 at Lakeside. No additional sportsbook approvals appear on the agenda for the meeting.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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