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Sports betting in Iowa sets another monthly record in November

Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher approaches the counter to place the ceremonial first bet Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, at the
Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher approaches the counter to place the ceremonial first bet Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, at the Isle Casino in Bettendorf. (Quad-City Times)

DES MOINES — Iowa gamblers wagered nearly $87.2 million last month on pro and college sports, setting another monthly record, according to documents posted Friday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

November numbers were fueled by $62.4 million in wagers that were placed by Iowans via online apps. So far in the five months of this fiscal year, sports bets made at state-licensed casinos or remotely have topped $314.6 million — with $222 million wagered via online services.

When sports betting was legalized in Iowa beginning Aug. 15, 2019, state legislators and Gov. Kim Reynolds imposed a requirement that sports bettors for the first 18 months would have to travel to a state-licensed casino to establish an account in person. That requirement goes away Jan. 1, when Iowans 21 and older who prove residency will be able to establish an account online.

Industry officials think that will spur more options and more wagering based on experiences in other states where sports wagering is legal.

November’s sports bets generated $8.1 million in state revenue, bringing year-to-date total state tax collections on sports wagering to nearly $1.87 million.

“The Hawkeye State’s enthusiasm for sports betting hasn’t peaked as we saw another record month for sports betting in November. It was impressive to see steady growth given the decreased volume of sports this month,” said Max Bichsel, vice president of U.S. business for the Gambling.com Group.

Iowa’s casinos had a slightly down revenue month compared with October, with adjusted gross receipts of about $104 million and lower attendance figures at 1,157,533 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to dampen in-person visits somewhat.

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For the year, the 19 state-licensed casinos have posted $584.5 million in adjusted gross revenue, which has generated more than $111.9 million in state tax collections.

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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