Midwest Sports Betting Report: Iowa Casino Revenue Dips as Nebraska Competition Increases - Newstbt.com
For the second consecutive month, Iowa’s casino revenue dropped by 6% in May. This decrease is typical for this season in Iowa, yet it is still believed that the rise of competition in neighboring Nebraska has contributed to the decline.
According to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, adjusted gross revenue (AGR) in April decreased to $143.6 million from $153 million, likely due to increasing competition from Nebraska’s on-site sports betting scene. Brian Ohorilko, the Commission’s Administrator, doesn’t seem to be especially worried about the dropped revenue, but noted that Harrah’s Casino and the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluff’s experienced a decrease in the last two months. As sports betting becomes more widespread throughout the US, the proximity of Omaha’s licensed sports betting to Iowa means that the state could see more of an impact from cross-state gaming traffic in the future.
In Iowa, 19 state-licensed casinos generated over $1.7 billion during the last fiscal year, which ends on June 30. Sports betting in the region has been increasing, yet there has been mixed results.
Sports Betting Up, But Mixed in Iowa
Sports betting revenue in Iowa increased significantly in May, with a more than 17% hike from April, and the total revenue was up by more than 31% in comparison to May of last year. However, compared to the previous month, the handle dropped by more than 14%, making for a mixed picture overall. With $147,715,126 in wagers placed in May, online betting was the preferred option, accounting for $135 million of the handle. All but one of the state’s 19 casinos now offer mobile betting, while in neighboring Nebraska, which is just introducing sports betting for the first time, mobile options remain prohibited. Iowa climbed up the ladder in terms of national sports betting revenue, experiencing a considerable boost.
Iowa’s Rank on the National Level
As of this publication, Iowa has ranked fourth amongst all states for legal sports betting, coming after New York, Maryland, and Indiana. In those five months of 2023, the legal sports betting applications have brought in an approximate total of $980,417,920 – a slight decrease of 9% compared to the same period in 2022. The retail market has seen a slight improvement in contributions since more bettors have opted for virtual sites. 13% of proceeds from these physical locations have been accounted for in the handle. As of now, not all markets have reported handle figures.
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