Sports betting brings in millions in tax revenue for Iowa

In the first two years since sports betting was legalized in Iowa, the state has brought in nearly $ 8 million in tax revenue.

WEST OF THE MONKS, Iowa – EDITOR’S NOTE: The above video is from September 7, 2021.

During nearly every televised sporting event in Iowa, viewers are bombarded with advertisements for sports betting. The recently legalized industry is taking off in the state, grossing millions of dollars.

According to data from the Legislative Services Agency (LSA), from June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2021, more than $ 6 million in state tax revenue was collected in sports betting and fantasy sports betting.

In fiscal 2020, sports betting brought in about $ 1.78 million in tax revenue to Iowa, allowing lawmakers to set aside $ 300,000 of that money to fund the gambling treatment program. the state.

That’s a total of almost $ 8 million since legalization.

LSA told Local 5 it was hard to tell what a “regular” year in Iowa looked like for sports betting: it was legalized in August 2019, then the pandemic struck in March 2020, slowing participation for a few months.

Derron Heldt, vice president of racing at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, said that since the state allowed the Iowan to register and place bets digitally instead of going to a licensed casino, traffic to the casino has decreased.

“With the mobile app, this is where most of the betting takes place,” Heldt said. “On average, about 95 percent of all bets are placed on the mobile side.”

Heldt said the expansion of online sports betting in Iowa has provided casual fans with fun.

“It’s the convenience factor where you can do it at home,” he said.

Iowa casinos have benefited enormously from sports betting.

As of the summer, state tax revenues for the state’s 19 casinos have brought in more than $ 1.35 million.

“We are coming out of a very good September where we posted double digit growth,” said Heldt. “I think it looks like there is still more steady growth to come.”

Most of the revenue for casinos like Prairie Meadows comes from slots and table games, but Heldt believes more and more apps will register in Iowa for sportsbook fans.

Half of the US states have legalized sports betting. Many other state legislatures are passing bills to make it legal.

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