Sports betting in Iowa has already seen hundreds of millions of dollars in action.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reported that more than $212 million dollars were wagered last year. That generated more than $1.3 million in tax revenue.
It’s been a winning parlay at both the Isle and Rhythm City Casinos locally too.
“We’re very pleased. It’s above our expectations,” said Isle general manager Nancy Ballenger. “”You come on to the casino floor. We’re used to seeing table games and slot machines. Now you see all these big screen TVs and a different piece of the puzzle.”
The Isle’s William Hill Sportsbook took in more than $11 million in bets in 2019. Rhythm City’s Elite Sportsbook had nearly $7 million.
Together the casinos generated more than $83,000 in tax revenue in the first four-and-a-half months of legalization.
“It has not only met, but exceeded our expectations,” said Rhythm City general manager Mo Hyder. “Sports betting in general, you know, brings a lot of customers. And it has, like, energized this outlet for us.”
The biggest difference in the handles between the two Quad Cities casinos comes in the online betting. Isle ($7 million) had over double the amount of money bet compared to Rhythm City ($3.3 million).
“We’re so used to using our phones for everything, so not surprising. It’s a great app that William Hill has and so we’re really excited about that,” Ballenger said.
Hyder said growing online wagering is important to Rhythm City and the Elite Sportsbook, but ultimately it’s the gamblers who make the final decision.
“We let the customers drive where they want to bet, whether it’s online or retail,” Hyder said. “I think we’re gonna continue to grow this element of the business. And not only that, but I think it’s going to be good for the state and for the community.”