“All of the casinos are open and they are gradually working back, but within the caveats of that 50 percent capacity,” he added. “Everybody’s trying to do their best job with all of the protocols.”
Brian Ohorilko, administrator for the state gaming commission, said some casinos are bouncing back but some are lagging and “it’s too early to tell” how everything will settle out.
Generally, he said “folks are cautiously optimistic” although the attendance decline is troubling.
Ohorilko said many of the operators are marketing to experienced and serious gamblers, given that many of the casual players are staying away due to coronavirus concerns.
Likewise, Iowa’s fledging sports betting operations — which became legal last Aug. 15 — are starting to take flight again as professional baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer and motor sports have resumed.
Ehrecke hailed the fact that nearly $22.9 million was wagered in July with bettors claiming $20.6 million in payouts while the casino sportsbooks collected more than $2.24 million in net revenue.
”That’s encouraging as well,” Ehrecke added, “considering where we were just a couple months ago when there wasn’t anything to wager on.”
Nearly $17.8 million in sports wagering was conducted via online apps (available from 13 of the 18 casinos that offer sports betting) while nearly $5.1 million bets were placed in person at Iowa casinos.