The Iowa Gaming Commission has posted casino sports betting figures for the month of March 2020, which indicate revenue in the category rose despite overall wagers plummeting by 65.6 percent.
Almost every casino in the United States was closed as of mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, leading to expected falls in bets being placed across the country.
The Ron Fritz of Gambling.com cited the figures as largely bad news for Iowa in regards to revenue, though that clearly doesn’t apply to all sectors.
The total sports wagering handle of $19,576,985 was a far cry from the $56.9 million taken the previous month. However, the $1,171,164 sports wager revenue documented in March was still a 55 percent rise from February’s total of $755,334.
The 19 casinos in the state were forced to close by Governor Kim Reynolds on March 17, and there appears to be no immediate end in sight as those locations will remain shut until the end of April at the earliest.
Necessary as they were, closures came at a bad time for Iowa after the state posted its largest monthly handle for online sports betting in February ($37.7 million). The numbers for March were worth almost one third of that figure ($13,316,068).
The state will rely heavily on that improvement regarding net receipts (profit) as a silver lining amid the pandemic, though Iowa, like many states, will eagerly await a sign of when things can return to normal once it is safe to do so.