Iowa Casinos Find Economic Relief in Sports Betting Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Iowa Casinos Find Economic Relief
Reading Time: 3 Min
Image: Shutterstock
When Iowa allowed sports betting into the state, many viewed it as a small revenue stream for many casino operators. However, because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, some casinos in Iowa have reported that their sports betting arm have somehow saved them from completely capitulating.

A recent report from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission revealed that Iowans have placed about $368 million in bets for the fiscal year of 2020. All these bets were placed on the outcomes of various professional and collegiate sports.

What is even more interesting about this recent report is that sports betting outdid online betting by as much as $223 million, and the industry was able to pull this off despite of the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since August last year when sports betting started, all 19 of Iowa’s state-licensed casinos were able to net $25.7 million in gambling receipts. Although the revenue did fell by a lot, it is much more than what the state originally anticipated because of the surge of the coronavirus.

Strong net from sports betting

For the entire fiscal year, all 19 licensed casinos took it $1.163 billion in adjust gross revenue. While not nearly as much as last year’s $1.457 billion, it is still a great revenue stream given the current economic state because of the pandemic.

Experts and government officials agree that the numbers will have been devastating if not for the strong performance of the sports betting industry. These figures are impressive given the fact that many sports league were forced to cancel their season because of the pandemic. This resulted in limited betting options, something that helped bring the revenue down.

Signs of recovery

Although the state economy has yet to rebound back to the pre-coronavirus level, Iowa is showing signs of recovery. In June, the state’s sports betting activity saw a surge of $12.7 million in bets, all of these were made on betting shops except for the $1.1 million generated from online apps.

Recent figures also revealed that more than one million people have flocked to recently opened casinos, which in turn generated more than $113 million in revenue. Although it is still down compared to last year’s figures, Iowa state officials claim that it is still a win amidst the current pandemic.

Gambling.com betting analyst Ron Fritz said:

“June numbers at $12 million in sports betting handle are still down for a normal month.”

Nevertheless, many market experts are still optimistic about the recent growth.

Major leagues like the NBA, NHL, and MLB are expected to reopen their season soon. This is extremely good news for the local sports betting industry as it will no doubt revitalize their operations.

In terms of tax revenue, sports betting brought in about $1.8 million in state taxes. This boosted the state’s coffers to $320.74 million. This is down compared to last fiscal year’s take of $291.1 million.

Nevertheless, given the current economic condition of the world, Iowa is slowly showing signs of economic normalcy.

Relevant news