After setting new monthly records for betting handle and revenue in January, the sports betting industry in Iowa took a step back during the month of February. February is typically not a huge month in the sports betting industry, and it has fewer days which contributed to this decline.
Total sports betting handle in February was $143.62 million, which was a four percent decrease from the previous month. The sports betting revenue fell by more than 30 percent to just $7.71 million in February.
Even though Iowa saw some disappointing numbers during February, the state has still been trending in the right direction in recent months. Illinois and Indiana are the two biggest markets in the Midwest, but Iowa has a chance to put some pressure on its neighbors.
Online Betting Posts Big Numbers
Since the state of Iowa eliminated the in-person registration requirement on Jan. 1, online betting has taken off throughout the state. Iowa has already had a number of big names offering online sports betting, but now customers can sign up for new accounts without being forced to visit a casino.
Online sports betting handle in February was $125.22 million, while retail handle accounted for just over $18 million. Mobile handle actually increased by 3.7%, and this is a trend that is expected to continue moving forward in 2021.
A year-over-year comparison when it comes to online betting handle shows an increase of more than 231 percent from February 2020. New options have emerged since that time, but a rule change also allowed for this type of betting to become more popular.
Super Bowl Provides Boost
If it weren’t for the Super Bowl taking place in February, the numbers would have actually been much worse for the Hawkeye State. The entire US sports betting industry saw nearly three times as many bets placed on Super Bowl weekend this year, and sportsbooks in Iowa did extremely well.
Handle from the Super Bowl was $16.3 million, which represented more than 11 percent of the total amount. Other states suffered big losses based on the upset win by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, but bettors in the state of Iowa were leaning heavily on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here Comes March Madness
The March sports betting numbers are expected to be strong throughout the United States, and that will be the case in Iowa as well. March is traditionally a big month for the sports betting industry as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament takes center stage.
Casinos in Iowa are also allowed to add a third sports betting skin beginning on March 10, creating even more sports betting options in the state. It’s unclear how many new sportsbooks will be able to launch in March, but this will provide a huge boost to the state moving forward.
Online sportsbooks are expected to offer huge bonuses and promotions for March Madness, which should drive the handle up, but revenue might fall because of this.