Iowa Reports $3.2B Gambling Handle in Financial Year 2021

Iowa Reports $3.2B Gambling Handle in Financial Year 2021

As casinos and gambling operators are opening up, the demand for wagers is increasing significantly. Iowa became the latest testament to this as the state scored over 3 billion dollars worth of gambling handle in the financial year 2021. In addition, the 19 legal casinos in the state generated almost 1.6 billion dollars worth of gross revenue with table games and slot machines.

The state even garnered 985 million dollars in wagers through online applications. The surge came after the state changed its law on 1st January. The State Racing and Gaming Commission released the latest data, noting Iowa’s outstanding 3.2 billion dollars worth of turnover due to lottery, sports, and casinos.

Aside from the 1.58 billion dollars in table games and slots, the state also amassed 1.2 billion dollars worth of sports wagering. With this, Iowa collected over 90 million dollars worth of receipts in its 12-month span that ended on 30th June.

Harrah’s, Horseshoe, and Ameristar, Council Bluff’s golden casino-trio, had a collective gross revenue of 404,282,270 dollars. Wes Ehrecke from the Iowa Gaming Association talked to Omaha World-Herald about the development. Wes stated that the numbers are sheer results of the pent-up demand. He added that such numbers would help the industry recover in no time.

Wes noted that factors like favorable weather, increased money discretion, and vaccines’ availability contribute to the positive turnaround. However, the industry fell over 20% in 2020, which needs to recover quickly.

Come June, and casinos amassed over 141.5 million dollars, reaching an all-time high yearly record. The industry previously recorded 1.47 billion dollars worth of business back in 2021. Now, the all-time high stands at 1.58 billion dollars, 109.4 million dollars more than the previous record.

Brian Ohorilko (the State Racing and Gaming Commission’s Administrator) believes that the numbers are amazing. They are even more impressive, seeing how most casinos are rehiring, renting properties, and collecting amenities. 

The state legalized sports wagering back in 2019, but the sector witnessed its first full-year run in FY 2021. Gamblers placed wagers worth 985 million dollars with online platforms, given their convenience and ease of use.

Jessica Welman (PlayUSA’s analyst) stated that the year came with immense challenges for most sportsbooks. That is why the results are more staggering. But, the best part is that even with the coronavirus, the numbers only show a part of Iowa’s true potential.

The increase in gambling revenue helped authorities, too, as casinos paid around 314.5 million dollars in taxes. The overall tax charges for sports wagering amounted to 6.07 million dollars.

With 417 million dollars worth of earnings through the lottery, the state amassed 95 million dollars in May. Seeing how the industry is still recovering, the numbers are expected to reach even higher.

Michael Brown29 Posts
Michael Brown is a daily contributor to, also professional at the games of the casino. He has experience of over a decade in working with these industries.

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