Iowa Sports Bettors Nearly Break Betting Record In November

Written By Derek Helling on December 12, 2023
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With November 2023 now in the books, Iowa’s legal sportsbooks have only been busier over the course of a month in one instance. Despite near-record wagering activity at Iowa sportsbooks, revenue for gambling licensees and the state in November was far from unprecedented.

In fact, casino win and taxes from Iowa gaming were down marginally during the month compared to November 2022. While sportsbooks fared better in an annual comparison, it’s only because November 2022 was quite abysmal for them.

Iowa casino revenue stays flat in November

Iowa’s 19 brick-and-mortar casinos won a total of $136.3 million from players during November. That revenue came from poker, slots, and table games. It excludes sportsbook win, including physical sportsbooks inside the casinos.

That total is down only slightly from the same figure in November 2022. In the same way, tax revenue for Iowa from gaming activity saw a small decrease year-over-year. For November 2023, the state’s share of gambling win came to $30.3 million.

November 2022 still stands as the most lucrative month for Iowa casinos ever. Through the first five months of the current fiscal year, casino win is also down marginally from what was a record term for Iowa casinos.

While casino gaming revenue in Iowa has struggled to beat numbers from the previous fiscal year, sportsbooks are actually on pace to set a new standard. November 2023 pushed them toward that goal in a big way.

Iowa bettors lunge toward single-month record

During November, bettors in Iowa wagered over $289.6 million using the state’s legal sportsbooks. The only month in which Iowans have risked more of their money on sports bets is January 2022, when Iowa sportsbooks took in more than $303.3 million in wagers.

As November’s betting activity came closer to that total than any other month, it was a better month for Iowa sportsbooks all around. However, the bar was quite low in terms of an annual comparison.

Sportsbooks won about 4.9% of the money they took in during November 2023. That comes to around $14 million in revenue. In November 2022, books’ revenue was 58.8% lower as they only won about 2.3% of the money bet.

For the current fiscal year to date, Iowa sports betting revenue is up over 12.1%. Should that continue, the term could be the best that legal Iowa sportsbooks have had yet. Their performance could be what keeps Iowa’s gambling industry somewhat close to a record 2022.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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