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Requirements expired on Jan. 1, opening door for fresh boom, according to analysts

(LAS VEGAS) — Iowa took a monumental step in its development as a sports betting industry on New Year’s Day with the expiration of the state’s in-person registration requirement to bet online, opening the door to exponential growth that should generate billions in annual wagers, according to analysts for PlayIA, which tracks Iowa’s legal sports betting and gambling industries.

“The in-person registration requirement has unquestionably stunted the growth of Iowa’s online sports betting market, which is the main engine in every state where it is legal,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for “With the requirement in place, Iowa would have never reached its potential as a market. Letting the requirement to expire is akin to correcting a mistake, and we expect Iowa to finally begin to blossom because of that correction.”

PlayIA analysts projected in 2019 that within five years Iowa would grow into a market that generated more than $4 billion in bets annually, more than $300 million a year in operator revenue, and more than $20 million a year in state taxes. But since launching in August 2019, Iowa has generated a total $682.6 million in wagers and $53.4 million revenue, according to official statistics. That has produced $3.7 million in state taxes.

Iowa’s start has unquestionably been muted by in-person-registration, which required that online bettors sign up in-person at a physical sportsbook.

Illinois launched earlier this year with an in-person registration requirement and then suspended it over the summer. The effect on that market was immediate. With just one operator, Illinois grew wagers to $52.5 million in July 2020 from $8.3 million in June 2020 and saw an immediate influx of 230,000 mobile sports betting accounts in the days after the state lifted in-person registration requirements, all as a slew of new operators launched.

In the months since, Illinois has grown to the fourth largest market in the U.S., generating $434.4 million in wagers in October 2020 alone.

“Illinois showed just how much drag in-person registration puts on a market,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for “It was an uneven, unsure start, but almost as soon as the registration requirement was lifted the market embarked on an expansion that has been the most rapid in U.S. history.”

In November, Iowa ranked No. 7 among states where sports betting is legal with a state record $87.2 million in wagers. That still significantly lagged No. 6 Colorado, which has about twice the population as Iowa but attracted $231.2 million in November bets.

Home to some of the best-known brands in online sports betting, operators’ interest in the Hawkeye State has already increased. BetMGM, one of the largest operators in the U.S., launched on Monday. And more could come soon.

“With a fair tax rate and strong regulatory framework, Iowa was already an attractive market for operators,” Welman said. “This was the missing piece. With the in-person registration requirement now gone, Iowa can truly reach its potential as a sports betting market.”

For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Iowa, visit

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Zoltán is a self-taught publisher and events organizer who has developed several brands and services that have increased the notoriety of his company within multi-billion dollar industries. In 2018, he has become a TEDx speaker and talked about reputation management in the digital era. As Co-Founder of HIPTHER Agency, Zoltan has helped develop highly respected online news portals, virtual and in-person conferences that cater to multiple industries on 5 continents. Among the developed brands and services you can find online news portals that cover several tech industries, gaming, blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence, and more. In parallel, the company has built a portfolio of annually organized boutique-style conferences in Europe and North America. All the events organized by his company focus on bringing a wealth of information about the latest innovation in several industries such as Entertainment, Technology, Gaming and Gambling, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Quantum Technology, Legal Cannabis, Health and Lifestyle, VR/AR, eSports and many more. Zoltan enjoys writing articles on all portals owned by the HIPTHER Agency, talking at conferences, hosting the weekly HIPTHER Talks Podcast, and loves spending time with his family. Zoltan is a duathlete who enjoys training for different international competitions which include running and cycling.