Several States Report Strong December Trading Figures

Iowa Hawkeyes fans storm the field after the match-up. Matthew Holst/Getty Images/AFP

The first state reports for December suggest that it could be another huge month for the burgeoning sports betting industry.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission revealed that sportsbooks in the state handled $266.5 million worth of wagers during the month. That was 7.2% below the record of $287.2 million set in November, but it was still among the top three months in state history.

It also pushed the Hawkeye State’s total sports betting handle for 2021 past the $2 billion mark, making it the 10th state to reach that milestone. In the final four months of the year, Iowans wagered $1.05 billion at legal sportsbooks.

Revenue was just $13.4 million, a 32.3% drop compared to November. That was due to the hold falling to 5%, as bettors had a stronger month. It means the total revenue for the year was almost $114 million, leaving the state with $8.7 million in tax revenue.

Caesars Continues to Reign Supreme

Iowa initially obliged bettors to sign-up in-person at retail sportsbooks in the state after the legal industry began in 2019. William Hill had a large estate of retail outlets in key locations across Iowa, handing it a natural advantage, so it became the number one sportsbook.

Caesars took on that title when it bought William Hill last year, rebranding it as Caesars Sportsbook. In-person registration was scrapped near the start of 2021, but Caesars has held onto top spot.

It handled $90.1 million for December, increasing its handle for 2021 to $653 million. Its sports betting revenue for December was $3.6 million.

DraftKings had a smaller handle than Caesars, but it also cleared the $3 million revenue mark. FanDuel held almost $1.9 million off a handle of $35.7 million, while BetMGM held $1.7 million from a handle of just $17.2 million.

Figures Released for Oregon and Delaware

Oregon and Delaware have also released their figures for December. The handle for Oregon reached $33.7 million, up by 3% compared to November. The only way to bet on sports in Oregon is to use the state lottery’s Scoreboard app.

Bettors used it to place 380,492 NFL wagers and 334,440 bets on NBA during the month. The average bet on football was $29.37, and it increased to $46.67 for basketball. Soccer was the third most popular sport, with almost 81,000 wagers.

The revenue for December fell 41.3% month-on-month to $2.6 million due to some bettor-friendly results.

In Delaware, bettors placed $7.5 million in wagers at retail sportsbooks and $5 million at sports lottery retailers, which only offer football parlay cards. That brought the total handle to $12.5 million.

Revenue from sportsbooks was $296,809, but lottery retailers lost around $1.2 million, leaving the state $969,520 in the red for December.

The total handle for 2021 was $121.3 million, and revenue hit $17.15 million, a modest 0.4% increase on 2020.

Illinois Claims Third Place for November

Illinois is a lot slower to release its figures than most other states. It has just revealed trading results for November, which revealed that it had the third largest sports betting market in the country once again.

The state’s handle was $779.9 million. That left it behind only New Jersey and Nevada, and ahead of Pennsylvania and Michigan. It was 7.2% lower than the handle for November, but revenue surged to a record $79.3 million, mirroring a trend seen across the country.

Parlays were the driving force behind the growth, as sportsbooks collected $44 million from parlay bets in November.

DraftKings claimed top spot in Illinois for the seventh month in a row, with $283.8 million in bets, while FanDuel was next with $214.4 million. However, FanDuel’s revenue exceeded DraftKings’ for the month.