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Bet365 has entered its fifth US market with the launch of its online sportsbook in Iowa.

The state joins Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia as bet365’s latest live US market.

The operator gained market access in the state via an agreement with riverboat casino the Casino Queen Marquette, one of four casino properties operated by Queen Casino & Entertainment Inc.

The property has granted bet365 one of its two allotted sports betting skins, having previously run online wagering operations in partnership with Fubo Sportsbook prior to its closure in November 2022.

Iowa market background

Home to some 3.2 million residents, Iowa is a relatively small US state by population but is home to an attractive betting market for operators due to several favourable conditions.

Local regulator the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) offers a low operator licensing fee of just $45,000, with an annual renewal fee of $10,000.

Further to that, the annual tax rate for betting operators in the state is set at just 6.75% of GGR, albeit with an additional requirement for operators to submit 0.75% of GGR for charitable causes and a further 0.25% federal excise tax on betting handle.

According to the IRGC, in the fiscal year 2022, Casino Queen Marquette handled some $2.5m in total bets, with $2.2m wagered online. That left the operator with around $169,500 in online betting GGR.

Iowa is now home to 19 sports betting licensees, including FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings and Caesars, as well as smaller operators such as Betfred, PointsBet and Tipico.

Bet365’s US background

Bet365 has taken a decidedly slow and steady approach to the US market, eschewing its competitors’ approach to huge marketing and promotional spend in key states in the market’s early days since 2018.

As a result, the brand has carved out just a small proportion of market share in the US, where the top four operators in FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars account for more than 80% of all sports betting revenue.

Still, the business is one of the largest operators globally, with its latest full-year earnings figures showing revenue of £2.85bn for the 12 months ended 27 March 2022.

In addition to its present five live states, bet365 has secured market access in Pennsylvania, but is yet to launch operations there.

The operator also previously applied for a sports betting licence in the state of Massachusetts, but withdrew the application in January this year despite having announced a partnership with Raynham Park Racetrack, which was subsequently abandoned.

Last month, bet365 deepened its commitment to the US market with a new rev-share agreement with affiliate XLMedia.