UK-based bet365 has launched in Iowa, becoming the 19th sportsbook to launch in Hawkeye State since sports betting was legalized in 2019.
In a statement from bet365, a spokesperson said the company is excited about its newest market, where it is partnering with Casino Queen Marquette to operate online.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome the Hawkeye State to bet365,” the spokesperson said. “From Sioux City to Marquette and everywhere in between, Iowans will now have access to our market-leading sportsbook product.”
Iowa becomes the fifth state in which Bet365 has launched. It launched in Ohio earlier this year.
bet365 faces stiff competition in the Iowa sports betting market
bet365 has a tough road ahead as it seeks to gain a share of the Iowa sports betting market. With 18 operators in the state, including heavyweights like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, much of the handle is already gobbled up.
For example, there was $172.6 million in handle gambled with online sportsbooks in Iowa in April.
According to data from PlayIA, FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM accounted for more than $120 million of that handle. Additionally, those three sportsbooks accounted for nearly $12 million of the $14 million in revenue generated by Iowa sportsbooks.
What’s that mean for bet365? It’s going to be a hard road to revenue. The company will likely gain less than $3 million in handle per month into the summer. Based on sportsbooks with a similar handle in April, bet365 will likely take home less than $100,000 in revenue per month.
The company will also likely have a big marketing spend in the state over the next couple of months, further cutting into its initial profitability.
Also, working against bet365? The company’s sportsbook app gets poor reviews from Android users. However, the app gets excellent reviews from iOS users.
Few opportunities exist for Iowa pro sports partnerships
bet365’s usual strategy to increase brand recognization in markets is to partner with professional sports teams.
For example, the company has partnerships with the Cleveland Guardians and the Colorado Rockies. However, none of the biggest pro sports leagues—NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL—have teams in Iowa. Furthermore, there are no partnerships between sportsbooks and college teams in Iowa.
All of this means that bet365 is going to need to find some creative ways to capture new customers and, in some cases, pull them away from other sportsbooks.
“We’re thrilled to work with bet365 to provide players with an in-demand and trusted source for safe online wagering. It’s an exciting time for our guests and passionate sports fans in Iowa, who will benefit from fantastic site features and attractive offers.”