Two new sportsbooks in Dubuque saw extensive action during their first full month of operation.
Bettors placed more than $1.5 million in overall wagers at Q Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook in the month of September, according to numbers released by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
FanDuel Sportsbook, which operates within Diamond Jo Casino, earned more than 63% of the local market share with a handle — or amount wagered — of $978,825. Q Sportsbook generated a handle of $566,870.
Q Casino General Manager Brian Rakestraw said that he has been pleased with the turnout at the sportsbook.
“We have had a lot of great feedback,” he said. “Customers are enjoying the atmosphere. They like that they can come in, place their wagers and they can stay here and watch multiple games.”
Jeff Hoose, regional manager for FanDuel in the Midwest, expressed a similar sentiment.
“People have really embraced it,” he said. “It is becoming a part of the popular culture.”
The state racing and gaming commission’s figures also break down the “payouts” and “net receipts” at each casino.
Payouts reflect money that was awarded to bettors for winning wagers. Net receipts show how much of the “handle” a casino keeps after paying those who won their bets.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, sports wagering payouts were nearly $781,000 and net receipts were more than $198,000. Q Sportsbook’s payouts were above $495,000 and net receipts were just below $72,000.
Net receipts are not a perfect measure of a sportsbook’s profits because a winning bettor might not have cashed in his or her ticket immediately. Furthermore, the figure does not take into account costs like paying sportsbook employees.
Both Dubuque sportsbooks allow customers to place bets with live tellers or at automated kiosks.
Hoose said guests at FanDuel Sportsbook have utilized both options.
“We live in a pretty tech-savvy society and we are seeing the majority of bets are coming to the kiosks,” he said. “There are some people who prefer the assistance of a live teller.”
Football remains the primary draw for sports bettors, but Rakestraw said Q Sportsbook also has seen a contingent of fans that enjoy placing wagers on baseball games. He said that activity is picking up in October as the Major League Baseball playoffs kick into full gear.
Rakestraw believes the sportsbook is attracting customers who otherwise would not be coming to the property.
“We’re seeing a younger crowd that is coming in to the casino because of sports betting,” he said.
Both casinos reported that customers aren’t just placing bets and leaving.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, many stick around to place in-game bets at the kiosks. These wagers allow a person to bet on a game’s outcome after it has begun.
Rakestraw believes the sportsbook has had a big impact on the connecting sports bar and restaurant.
“We’ve really seen positive growth in our food and beverage numbers,” he said.
Fifteen of Iowa’s 19 licensed casinos reported sports betting revenues in September.
These entities had a combined sports wagering handle of $38.5 million in September, collecting just under $5 million in net receipts and doling out more than $33.5 million in payouts.
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko said three additional casinos launched sportsbooks in the first week of October, bringing the total number of sportsbooks to 18. Casino Queen in Marquette is the lone casino that has yet to apply for a sports-betting license.
He said only seven casinos now offer a mobile betting option, but that should soon change.
“Now that these casinos have their retail sites open, it looks like those properties will be refocusing and working more on their mobile,” he said. “We should be seeing more (mobile gaming options) trickle in during the next couple of months.”
Rakestraw said Q Sportsbook is planning to go live with its mobile betting app in late October. Such an offering would allow bettors to place a sports wager from their phones as long as they are within the state.
“We really think this will take our sportsbook to the next level,” Rakestraw said.
Hoose confirmed that FanDuel Sportsbook also will unveil a mobile option in the “not-too-distant future,” but said a specific launch date has not been established. He expects the option to be “wildly popular,” particularly for customers who keep busy schedules or live miles away from the nearest casino.