Iowa Racing and Gaming Administrator, Brian Ohorilko, says the amount of money bet on sports or “handle” shot up last month. “The month of September was $72 million. That exceeds the highest month we’ve ever had in the state. Last year in November and December were previously our high months at 59 million,” Ohorilko says.
The sports wagering handle for the fiscal year that began in July is more than $145 million and net sports wagering receipts are $10.4 million. The total net sports wagering receipts for the first fiscal year were $25.7 million. Sports betting started in mid-August of last year, but was shut down from mid-March until the end of May.
Ohorilko says the increase in sports betting this fiscal year is due in part to the pandemic pushing back the NHL and NBA seasons, and the start of the football season. He says it is also due to a maturing of the industry. “Last year at this time there were just a handful of operators and those operators were trying to understand and learn about the Iowa market,” according to Ohorilko. “We have quite a few more options for customers at this point in time. I say that — although we still do not have an internet option in the Council Bluffs