March Madness brought an increase in sports betting activity in Iowa.
The state reported a handle of $233.5 million, up 5.2% from February’s $215.9 million and was 44.7% higher than March 2021’s $161.4 million.
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Online sports betting made up $208.2 million of the handle, an increase of 6.8% from February’s $195 million and was 49.4% more than March 2021’s $139.4 million.
Iowa sports betting revenue in March was $14.4 million, up 68% from February’s $8.6 million and 7.1% higher than March 2021’s $13.5 million.
March’s state tax from sports wagering was $972,991, an increase of 64% from February’s $593,540 and 7.2% higher than March 2021’s $908,011.
Each of Iowa’s 19 casinos permit retail sports betting and are partnered with a mobile sports betting operator.
Iowa Sports Betting Revenue & Handle, March vs. February
|Total Handle||Mobile Handle||Revenue|
|Change||Up 8.2%||Up 6.8%||Up 68.0%|
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Top Iowa Operators
DraftKings Sportsbook, partnered with Crown Iowa Gaming, had the highest operator handle in March at $64.9 million.
Caesars Sportsbook and American Wagering Inc. was second at $49 million, while Betfair Interactive and FanDuel were third at $47.5 million. Bet MGM ($22.6 million) and Penn Sports Interactive’s Barstool Sportsbook ($7.4 million) rounded out the Top 5.
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Iowa Universities Compete in March Madness
The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments typically provide a boost to sports betting handles each month. Iowa likely saw an increase in handle because of multiple in-state teams taking part in the tournament.
The Iowa Hawkeyes men’s basketball team won the Big Ten Tournament championship, defeating Purdue in the finals 75-66. Anyone who had futures on the Hawkeyes were able to cash out those conference tournament tickets. On the women’s side, Iowa also won the Big Ten Tournament, giving the school two postseason conference titles.
But Iowa’s successful run did not carry over to the NCAA Tournament. As a No. 5 seed, the men were upset by Richmond in the first round. The No. 2-seeded women’s squad lost at home in the second round to Creighton.
Iowa State’s men’s and women’s teams had deeper runs in the NCAA Tournament, with the men beating LSU and Wisconsin before falling in the Sweet 16 to Miami. The Cyclones women also reached the Sweet 16 after wins over UT Arlington and Georgia. Iowa State would suffer the same fate as Iowa, losing to Creighton in the Sweet 16.
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