SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Since Iowa’s lawmakers legalized sports betting back in 2019, more than $2.2 billion has been wagered on sports. In the month of October alone, more than $280 million in sports wagers were placed in Iowa, shattering the previous monthly high that was just set in September.
There’s a variety of factors as to why sports betting has been booming over the last year with the most obvious reason being that all sports are back in full season after the pandemic left most leagues in a hiatus.
South Dakota has been offering sports betting at Deadwood casinos since September. October’s numbers aren’t expected to be released until the last Monday of the month.
Now, Iowans can legally bet online from their phone.
In fact, about 90% of Iowa’s total handle last month in sports wagers came via mobile apps like Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, and even Betfred Sports, which is offered at Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood. The sportsbook manager there said mobile bets add convenience for people especially before a busy NFL Sunday.
“Right before kickoff at 11 o’ clock, we get like 40 people in line waiting to place a bet. So if you sign up online, bam, you can sit down and place a bet right on your phone,” Grand Falls-Betfred Sportsbook manager Joee Eknitphong said.
Managing editor of PlayIA.com Russ Mitchell said he doesn’t see the industry slowing anytime soon with 2 new sportsbooks operations added over the last month, bringing the state’s total to 17 for their 19 casinos.
“We could probably get another 10 sportsbooks so it would be an incredible number, I think. We already have more sportsbooks than Nevada itself, which is pretty amazing,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell mentioned the extra weekend of football added to the record setting numbers in October, but the Big Ten battle happening in Lincoln next Friday could peak the interest of local fans.
“Iowa gets a lot of customer traffic from Omaha and the Nebraska side of the Sioux City area. So that Heroes game is going to be really exciting for people and it should help boost those big numbers,” said Mitchell.