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Iowa became the 11th US state to legalize sports betting on August 15, 2021. As we have seen with several other states, Iowa gave their casinos and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks a head start against mobile and online books. It was not until January 1st, 2021 (18 months after legalizing sports betting) that the first online sportsbooks were able to accept wagers.
The key to driving sports betting revenue and total handle size in any state is remote registration. This is particularly true for a state as rural as Iowa. Many residents are not able or willing to travel to one of the state's 19 casinos to place wagers. As you will see when we break down the state's total handle, the market exploded once remote registration began in 2021.
Today, anyone within Iowa state lines can open an account and place a wager with 10 different online sportsbooks.
Iowa's sports betting legislation received high praise from US operators as being one of the more sportsbook-friendly markets in the US. The state also kept things extremely straight-forward for bettors by electing not to ban any specific sports.
The only wager restrictions in place in Iowa are on live betting and player props for in-state collegiate teams. This means you will be able to wager on Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball, but player prop and live betting will not be available for either team.
The state's 6.75% tax rate is amongst the lowest in the United States. Furthermore, the $45,000 license fee with $10,000 annual renewal fee are both drops in the bucket when compared to other state requirements.
The state saw a rapid influx of books thanks to this legislation. There are already 10 online and mobile sportsbooks operating in IA as of mid-February 2021 with an additional six expected to enter the market at some point in 2021.
Online sportsbooks must partner with one of the state's 19 established casinos in order to operate in the state. Each casino is able to partner with up to two mobile online books, which would allow for up to 38 total operators in the state.
The table below runs down each of the casino/sportsbook partnerships in the state as of mid-February. In addition to the sportsbooks listed, Barstool Sportsbook, 888 Sport, Fox Bet, Bet365, and BetAmerica have all announced plans to enter the market at some point this year.
|Online Book||Casino Partner||Launch Date|
|BetMGM||Diamond Jo||August 2019|
|BetRivers||Wild Rose||January 2021|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Wild Rose: Clinton||October 2019|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Wild Rose: Jefferson||October 2019|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Wild Rose: Emmetsburg||October 2019|
|Elite Sportsbook||Grand Falls||August 2019|
|Elite Sportsbook||Rhythm City||August 2019|
|Elite Sportsbook||Riverside||August 2019|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Blue Chip Casino||October 2019|
|Hard Rock Sportsbook||Hard Rock Sioux City||September 2019|
|PointsBet||Catfish Bend||August 2019|
|Q Casino||Q Sportsbook||August 2019|
|theScore Bet||Ameristar||August 2019|
|Unibet||Harrah's Council Bluff||August 2019|
|Unibet||Horseshoe Casino||August 2019|
|William Hill||Isle Bettendorf||August 2019|
|William Hill||Isle Waterloo||August 2019|
|William Hill||Lakeside||August 2019|
|William Hill||Praire Meadows||August 2019|
Remote Registration Spikes Iowa Betting Handle - As many expected, the start of remote registration and online wagering caused a massive spike in total handle in Iowa. January's total handle was $149.5 million with $11.3 million in total revenue. This was up nearly 50% from January, and will likely grow another 50%+ during the March Madness push.
January Marks Start of Mobile Sports Betting in Iowa - After 18 months of waiting, Iowa residents were officially be able to place wagers from sportsbook websites and apps in January of 2021. The mobile handle for the first month of online wagering topped $120 million, roughly 80% of the state's total handle.
Thanks to one of the most competitive markets in the country, Iowa residents have their choice between a wide variety of promotions this February. With mobile betting launching in January in Iowa, the 10 online sportsbooks in the state are scrambling to acquire players, which is good news for IA residents.