Mattress Mack bounces Iowa sports betting operators back in July

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale gave spring to the little guys in Iowa in July.

The Texas-based furniture mogul’s two $1 million forward bets on the Houston Astros to win the World Series through Unibet and Betfred have helped boost sports betting revenue in the Hawkeye State, according to the figures released Thursday by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

These two bets contributed to a dramatic increase in statewide revenue among operators, which combined to produce nearly $11.2 million of the $108.6 million wagered. The 10.3% overall take is the fifth highest in 36 months of betting in Iowa and also the fifth time the win rate has hit double digits. Minus those two bets, the state’s win rate drops to 8.9%

McIngvale’s bets, as he regularly does to hedge furniture giveaways from his Texas stores, helped boost revenue 70.1% from June. This offset the 11.3% drop in the handful, as the bets also increased the win rate by almost five full percentage points and combined to generate over $2.1 million in revenue from of almost 2.8 million dollars in bet.

The state collected more than $750,000 in taxes for June, bringing the total to more than $5.4 million for the year. That’s more than $1.2 million ahead of last year’s seven-month pace, as the handle grew 47.4% over the same period in 2021, while revenue grew by 29.3%. With three full years of wagering completed, Hawkeye State operators have accepted over $4.1 billion in wagers, including $1.3 billion in 2022.

Historical month for Unibet and Betfred

Unibet and Betfred are on the hook for substantial payouts if the Astros win the World Series, as McIngvale’s bets – both made at +500 – are unlike anything the two books put in when they operated in Iowa.

Unibet had generated just $35,008 in revenue in the first six months of 2022 and $160,013 in its first 10 months of operation in Iowa after launching late last year. McIngvale’s bet was 88% of his handle for July and is just over 20% of his all-time handle in the state.

Betfred, which entered the state in July 2020, had only claimed $26,625 this year before July and was less than $35,040 from matching its revenue for all of 2021, when nearly 8 $.3 million had been wagered. Mattress Mack’s million dollar game was 61% of Betfred’s handful for the month and 22.5% of its 2022 handful so far.

The betting also propelled the two lightweights into the unknown spotlight of mobile sports betting reaching seven figures in revenue. Regulars FanDuel, DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook were all part of this group, with FanDuel generating mobile revenue of over $2.5 million. DraftKings was close behind at $2.4 million, but took top honors for the handle at nearly $26.6 million – $410,352 more than FanDuel.

Caesars grabbed the final podium spots for revenue and handful, claiming more than $1.4 million out of $21.8 million, as its 6.5% grab marked only the second times in 18 months that she has posted a 6% win rate. BetMGM was the only other operator with an eight-figure handle at $10.8 million, and the overall mobile handle was just under $98.4 million. The 10.3% win rate – it would have been 8.4% without McIngvale’s bets – for mobile operators was the highest since hitting 11.2% in October 2020.

Wild disparities in retail betting

For physical sportsbooks, the overall hold was 10.5%, with the house raking in nearly $1.1 million from a handful of $10.2 million. But results from the state’s 19 casinos varied widely.

Ameristar and Horseshoe at Council Bluffs posted double-digit win rates, while the former casino’s sportsbook paced all outlets with nearly $350,000 in revenue from a win rate of 15.3%. Horseshoe’s win rate was even higher at 17.65%, claiming nearly $177,000 from just over $1 million wagered. Diamond Jo in Worth, one of the biggest retail books, had a 6.3% more pedestrian hold on a handful of $3.7 million, a state high, generating more than 233,000 revenue dollars.

Overall, 11 retail sportsbooks had win rates of at least 10%, with three above 20% – but three also finished in the red for July. Wild Rose at Clinton suffered the biggest loss of the month as bettors won $24,081 out of $104,304 wagered, resulting in a -23.1% win rate.

Since the end of in-person registration at the end of 2020, mobile betting has been the main driver of management. More than 89% of manipulations in the past 19 months were done online, with the percentage currently standing at 90.5% for 2022.

Operators surpassed the $250 million mark in all-time revenue with the July report, with more than $80 million coming this year. Even with July’s strong hold, the overall win rate of almost 6.2% after three years of betting is still well below the industry standard of 7%, with traders only hitting that benchmark 16 times in 36 attempts.