Gamblers in Iowa didn’t hold back in September. For them, the month was slightly better than prior September had been. That difference may not amount to much by the time the current fiscal year ends, though.
Iowans have never gambled more money on sporting events in September using the state’s legal sportsbooks. They also won more of that money this year, which also goes for their luck playing poker, slots, and table games in the state during the month.
Iowa casinos coast to respectable September
Compared to the previous September, the 2023 iteration was rather admirable for Iowa’s casinos. Their revenue from poker, slots, and table games was close to 2022’s September record, down less than $3 million year-over-year.
For the current fiscal year, revenue from those three verticals at Iowa’s casinos has similarly fallen by a minuscule margin. That revenue was about $13 million higher through the first three months of FY22-23.
However, September’s margin of decline narrowed from August’s, suggesting that Iowa’s casinos are moving in the right direction. That’s not the case for Iowa’s sportsbooks, though. September’s numbers demonstrate the volatility of that activity for gambling licensees.
Sportsbook win down despite record activity
According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC)’s September revenue report, Iowans bet over $245.7 million on sporting events in September. That’s a record for the state during the month.
It didn’t translate to record revenue for the books, though. Iowa’s online and physical sportsbooks won about 9.8% of that total.
The sportsbooks’ win total dropped about 5.3% compared to September 2022’s record haul. With revenue from all sources: poker, slots, sports betting, and table games combined, September was marginally off 2022’s record for the state.
If previous years are any indication, casinos have a chance to close that narrow gap in the coming months. Historically, Iowa casinos have posted their best year-over-year gains in January, February, and March.
Given that gaming revenue has held steady so far, the current year could reach another record for Iowa. If that does happen, it will be because gamblers in the state continue to play frequently.