Iowa Sports Betting Revenue Sets New Record in 2023

Posted on: January 17, 2024, 02:45h. 

Last updated on: January 18, 2024, 12:25h.

As presidential candidates look forward after the Iowa Caucuses, sports betting in Iowa shows it already has momentum. Sports betting revenue in the Hawkeye State soared to $26 million in December, its highest level ever.

The sportsbook at Iowa's Prairie Meadows Casino
The sportsbook at Iowa’s Prairie Meadows Casino helped the Hawkeye State reach record sports betting revenue figures in 2023. (Image:

Iowa Gaming and Racing Commission (IGRC) numbers show Iowans wagered 3% more in 2023 than in 2022, generating a year-end handle of $2.4 billion.

The mix of college football, NFL, NHL, and college basketball games was a recipe for success, driving Iowa’s handle to rise by 23% year-over-year. That adds to the growth and momentum indicated in the IGRC numbers for December.

The state begins 2024 after filling its coffers with $1.8 million in sports betting taxes in December.

Iowa players won $256.5 million from sports betting in December. The Super Bowl and March Madness will likely fuel sports betting momentum early in the new year.

Online Sports Betting Dominates in the State

Online sports betting comprised more than 91% of Iowa’s December handle, with retail sportsbooks generating $24.4 million in wagers. Operators report 20% more revenue year-over-year, and the 12-month hold average stayed above 8%.

DraftKings led the Hawkeye State with a handle of $94.7 million in December, while FanDuel came in second at $67.6 million.

Iowa Casinos Finish Strong

Iowa’s gaming revenue from the state’s 19 brick-and-mortar casinos came in at slightly more than $156 million in December, a 9.5% year-over-year increase from the 142.48 million won in December 2022.

Most of the money came from slot machines, which generated more than $140M in income, while table games took in more than $15 million.

The IRGC lists Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino as the top performer of 2023, with more than $22 million in revenue. Ameristar II and Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs round out the top three, taking in around $17 million.

Other Items from Iowa in 2024

Look for a comprehensive study on the horse racing industry by the summer of 2024. The IGRC approved the study before Brian Ohorilko stepped down in December after nearly 20 years.

The study is really focused on understanding the impact of racing and in trying to understand different ways and different tools to continue to ensure that that industry is sustainable,” Ohorilko told Radio Iowa, a news consortium for the state’s stations.

A new IRGC administrator is expected to be appointed this month. Tina Eick was appointed as interim administrator.

Currently, the IRGC is moving its Des Moines offices, according to its website.