Iowa sportsbooks in "remarkably better position" despite second consecutive month of decline

Data shows that Iowa’s sports betting volume dropped in May and remained well below the peak experienced in March.

Wagering in Iowa totalled less than $115m; according to analysts from PlayIA the decline shows Iowa won’t see growth until football returns.

However, there is still a lot of sport to be played over the summer.

PlayIA.com Analyst, Jessica Welman, said: “Sportsbooks will continue to be innovative this summer in an effort to keep bettors engaged with the remaining NBA season, baseball, and other sports, including the Olympics. Contrast that to last summer when most were in survival mode.

“There is no avoiding a summer slowdown, but Iowa’s sportsbooks are in a remarkably better position than this time last year when there was still so much uncertainty.”

During May, bettors placed a total of $114.9m in wagers, which is down 3% from the $118.4m in April and a significant drop from the $161.4m during the March Madness peak.

Over the 31 days in May, betting fell to $3.7m per day from the $3.9m bets a day in April. Meanwhile, $99.9m in bets were made online in May, representing 87% of the state’s overall handle.

Similarly, in April net operator revenue reached $7.7m, while in May it amounted to $6.1m; this resulted in $414,175 in tax revenue.

Despite better numbers in April, the month also marked a period of decline, meaning May is now the second consecutive month in which Iowa has reported a drop in total wagers.

All but one US legal sports betting jurisdiction reported a month-on-month decline in April.

PlayIA.com analyst, Dustin Gouker, added: “Iowa is more driven by college athletics than the majority of the largest markets in the US, so the end of college basketball season was bound to have an outsized effect.

“But a surge by the Cubs and White Sox in May was a big help for sportsbooks. If both teams can remain relevant this summer, it should really be a boost ahead of football season.”  

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