International Game Technology has announced the launch of a PlaySports-powered retail sports betting space at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa.

Iowa saw its sports betting ecosystem decline for the third consecutive month through June, even as revenue jumped and the pace of betting per day held firm. 

Iowa’s online and retail sportsbooks accepted $111.2m in June, which is down 3.2 per cent from $114.9m in May. The pace of betting remained $3.7m per day over the 30 days of June, matching the same figure per day over the 31 days in May.

Net operator revenue rose to $8.4m in June, which is up 37.4 per cent from $6.1m in May. The month’s handle resulted in $568,501 in tax revenue.

June’s results closed the book on fiscal year 2020-21, a pandemic-marred year that still brought impressive growth. In June 2020, Iowa’s sportsbooks took in $12.7m in bets, producing $620,740 in revenue as the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the US sports schedule. 

For the entire year, online and retail sports betting accounted for $1.2bn in wagering, $90m in gross gaming revenue, and $6.1m in tax revenue.

“The year brought significant challenges to Iowa’s sportsbooks, which made the results all the more impressive,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayUSA.

“The best news is that with the pandemic’s effects on the industry waning, and online registration firmly in place, the last year is only a glimpse of Iowa’s true potential.”

Through the month, $95.1m in bets were made online, representing 85.6 per cent of the state’s handle. Retail betting accounted for the remaining $16m, up from $15m in May.

William Hill‘s sportsbooks accounted for 33 per cent of Iowa’s handle in June with $36.65m in total wagers, even as the operator’s handle ticked down from $37.6m in May. Of that figure $34m was made online, with $1.8m in net receipts produced.

Wild Rose, which includes DraftKings and BetRivers, tallied $31.5m in online and retail wagering, which resulted in $2.5m in revenue. June’s handle was down from $33.8m in May and included $31.4m in online bets.

Diamond Jo, fuelled by FanDuel and BetMGM, took in $26.6m in combined wagers, down from $27.6m in May, with $22.6m coming online. That was enough to net a market-best $2.6m in revenue.

Iowa’s menu of online operators is growing, too. Bally Bet went live in late June, the second market that the operator has launched in. Meanwhile, a partnership between 888 Holdings and Sports Illustrated will bring the SI Sportsbook to Iowa, and PlayUp Sportsbook has also confirmed plans to enter the market later this year.

“Iowa is far from reaching its ceiling as a market,” Welman added. “New operators clearly still see untapped potential in the state, and that speaks positively to where the market is heading.”