Super Bowl LIV: the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Gardens in Florida on Sun., Feb. 2—02/02/2020: They will come to Iowa casinos’ sports betting windows with angels on their shoulders, good luck charms in their pockets and can’t miss hunches in their heads—laying down what they hope will be lucky money. Priests and painters, construction workers and Wall Street whizzes, teachers and truck drivers. Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus and Muslims.
Since prohibition ended in mid-August, Iowa’s IRGC-regulated casinos (Iowa’s four tribal casinos, operating under a different regulatory structure, do not offer sports betting) reported a $212.2 million handle—or amount bet—as of Jan. 9. They paid out $192.9 million to winners. Casinos captured $19.3 million in net receipts and transferred more than $1.3 million in taxes to the state, according to IRGC’s fiscal year 2020 revenue report. A staggering $75 million has been bet on sports at Altoona-based Prairie Meadows since the William Hill Sports Book venue opened in August. That handle is more than four times next biggest player, Waterloo-based Isle Casino Hotel Casino, which accepted $18.7 million in bets during the same period.