Iowa Sets a Record for Handling $81.9 Million in Wagers in the Last Month

October was a good month for Sportsbooks in Iowa, as the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) reports. The bigger chunk of the wagers came from mobile sports betting, which is offered in about seventeen casinos. Iowa has eighteen casinos, and only one exempted itself from sports betting. Mobile sports betting attributes to about $56.9 million of the total $81.9 million. Iowa launched legal regulated retail and online sports betting in August 2019, two months after legalization.

IRGC’s report also indicate an upsurge in sports betting activities in the Hawkeye State, raising September’s revenue target by nearly 13%. Pro sports are underway in the region, influenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to note that Iowa contributes only 6.75% of the national sports betting revenues in tax. Iowa State has collected $3.1 million only since sportsbooks launched in the region mid last year.

William Hill Expands Its Iowa Market Share

William Hill recently powered two sportsbooks in Horseshoe and Harrah to operate on a $300,000 mobile handle. The foreign operator seems to have made a smart move as the Big Ten football returns. Iowa already began its season alongside Nebraska on October 24. Since then, both sportsbook have boosted their handles, with Horseshoe reporting a 32.1% increment, skyrocketing the handle to nearly $4 million. Harrah increased its handle to $240,960 by the end of October.

It is also essential to note that William Hill’s Iowa properties account for up to 42.2% of the entire state’s handle. In October, William Hill reported about a $34.5 million handle, up from September’s $28.4 million, that accounted for only 39.2% of the state’s handle.

From the foregoing numbers, William Hill’s market share is snowballing and will soon bridge whatever is left to attain the 50% mark. Prairie Meadows closely rallied behind William Hill as they managed to pull an $18.4 million handle for the same period, representing 32.3%.

Reasons Why Iowa Bettors Prefer Sportsbooks Powered by William Hill

William Hill has an outstanding reputation that dates back to nearly nine decades ago, when it was founded by William Hill himself, in the United Kingdom. Since coming to the American market in 2012, the operator has received a warm reception.

William Hill has a special William Hill Sports Rewards Club for Iowa bettors, where they earn and accrue points upon every successful bet. The points can be redeemed later for free betting tickets. Most experienced gamblers use this chance to build a bankroll to increases their chances of wagering daily.

Membership to the club is free, and points can be earned from all types of sports betting. New players are also treated to a welcoming risk-free bet that can go up to $300. Therefore, players are guaranteed refunds if they miss bets from their first deposits. Other notable bonuses include the Hail Mary Parlays 15% refund if a player misses one of a four-bet parlay on College football teams that play on Saturdays.

Nearly All Sportsbooks Win in Iowa

It will be remembered that Iowa sportsbooks braced an adverse hit when they registered a 1.3% hold, influenced by the Super Bowl. According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission report, at least twelve sportsbooks registered a double-digit percentage rise in their handles. For instance, Grand Falls Casino posted $2.1 million, accounting for 16.22% of the state’s handle. Rhythm City recorded about 14.47% of the entire handle while Ameristar II held about 15.10% as Q Casino dragged at 2.46%.

With exactly one year into launching, sports betting is already becoming an integral industry in Iowa. The numbers might change as residents gain more awareness, exposure, and insights into legal, regulated sports gambling. In future, maybe Nebraska will also copy from Iowa and embrace mobile sports betting.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.