116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Sports betting in Iowa hit another peak in January and is likely to continue climbing with big-ticket sporting events in February and March.
Last month, for the first time, more than $300 million was wagered on sporting events in Iowa in a single month, state figures show.
Those betting numbers were boosted by an extra week of professional football games under the league’s new 17-game regular season schedule, and strong interest in the Iowa and Iowa State men’s basketball teams and professional basketball’s Chicago Bulls, said Russ Mitchell, the lead analyst for the gaming news site playia.com.
More than $303 million was bet on sports in January in Iowa, $276 million of which was wagered online, according to data from the state agency that regulates gaming. That number is expected to remain strong in the coming months, as Super Bowl betting numbers will be reported in February’s numbers, and March will contain wagering on the college men’s basketball tournament.
“With the Super Bowl and NCAA men’s basketball tournament just ahead, sportsbooks should continue to see high betting volume numbers before seasonally tapering off in spring,” Mitchell said.
Casinos and sports betting companies cleared $14 million in net receipts on those wagers in January, according to state data.
American Wagering Inc., which owns the Caesars sports betting program, saw the most action in Iowa with $113 million in sports wagers in January, according to state figures. DraftKings had $69 million in wagers and FanDuel $3.5 million.
“We are still learning more about this new market in Iowa, but we may see February’s number stabilize or decline without the weekly NFL games, even with the Super Bowl factored in,” said Brian Ohorilko, administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Association. “We should see an increase again in March with college basketball driving the market.”
Ohorilko said overall casino revenue was stable when comparing year over year, perhaps signaling the casino market is leveling after months of significant year-over-year revenue increases.
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