Sports wagers in Iowa reached a record-breaking $210 million in September

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission announced that the sports wagering handle in September was the highest recorded in the state, a little over $210 million.

The upcoming months of October and November could be even bigger for sports wagers in the state. “I think most people are expecting better numbers in October and November,” Brian Ohorilko, the Administrator for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said.

The commission said football, professional and collegiate, was a big reason for the massive increase in wagers. In August the sports wagering handle was $108 million. As the people betting on sports grow companies trying to obtain a license in the state increases as well.

“The other thing is that there are still seeing additional companies attempting to enter the Iowa market, about seven to eight companies trying to get a license,” Ohorilko said. “but people expect numbers to grow this fall and we will hopefully have additional operators as well.”

September saw $5 million in sports wagering net receipts, or the total profit for casinos from sports betting. August had $100 million less handle than September, but $6 million in net receipts. Ohorilko believes that this is due to companies offering promotions or better odds once football started. Either way, the several million from month to month doesn’t translate to a lot of tax revenue for the state. The traditional casino gambling is what state taxes really profits from.

“With casino gaming there is an inherent house edge,” Ohorilko said. “With sports gambling on the other hand it truly is a situation where those customers are betting against the house.”

More and more people are betting online as the in-person registration requirement sunset. According to Ohorilko, 88% of sports bets placed in the month of September came from over the internet.

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