Iowa has become the latest state to take meaningful steps towards fully fledged legal sports wagering after a wholesale adoption of rules and licenses granted early this week to 18 casinos by the state Racing and Gaming Commission.

Casinos that have formalized contracts with sportsbook providers licensed to set up online and on-site sportsbook operations in the state will be able to offer wagering on professional and college sports as well as DFS contests as soon as August 5. Most venues, however, are more likely to be up and running by the end of August. 

Speaking in Iowa’s Gazette, Wes Ehrecke of the Iowa Gaming Association explained: “This is a very exciting day. A lot of moving parts had to take place to get this here for these approvals.”

Also quoted in the Gazette, Brian Ohorilko, administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, confirmed that the next two weeks will be spent on checking age controls and safer gambling policies as well as systems to monitor suspicious betting patterns. 

He noted: “This definitely is a significant undertaking for a number of the casinos. I believe that it will generate a significant amount of traffic into the casinos. From a revenue standpoint, we’re not seeing significant additional revenue in some of the other states where sports has been authorized, but it definitely has increased the traffic and that will be good for the casinos.”

The move to green light sports betting in Iowa was something of a formality, with state gaming commissioners voting 5-0 at Tuesday’s meeting to approve emergency rules for sports wagering and license applications submitted by 18 of the state’s 19 regulated casinos.

The state will take 6.75% tax on the hold and while betting is allowed on professional and college sports as well as DFS, prop bets and wagers on in-state college teams are forbidden.