Gamblers bet more on sports in March of this year than last March — but the month fell short of being a record amount for the fiscal year.

Racing and Gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko says there was speculation of another record after the numbers from March of last year. “March of 2021, that was the highest month of handle for FY ’21. And so, so many thought that this March might be just as strong and you know, we still did see good numbers, but definitely less than what we were seeing the last winter,” Ohorilko says.

He says gamblers wagered more on sports before March Madness hit.”We actually saw stronger numbers during football season in September October November and December,” he says. Ohorilko says it will take some time to determine what the actual sports betting trend is going to be.

“It’s too early to tell if that is what we would expect during a normal basketball year where it’s a situation where maybe Iowans just will wager more on football than basketball,” Ohorilko says. He says the March betting could be an indication of something else. “We’re seeing just kind of a cooling off in terms of player spend and sportsbook marketing and if that is maybe having an impact on some of the numbers, “Ohorilko says.

There was a big push on to sign up sports gamblers last year with companies offering a lot of credits for new betters, and with those incentives down — the March betting didn’t surpass the fall numbers this year.

Sports bettors wagered more than $161 million in March of 2021. That number was more than $233 million this March.