Iowa became the 11th state this week to offer legal sports betting, with bettors now able to wager physically at eight casinos and online once registered in location. The state’s remaining casinos are expected to have fully operational sportsbooks in time for the beginning of the 2019 NFL season.
The eight casinos that took early advantage of the new sports betting regime were Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs; Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington; Isle Casino Hotel in Bettendorf; Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo; Lakeside Casino Hotel in Osceola; Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel in Altoona; Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport; and the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort.
In terms of betting partners, William Hill US, the American arm of UK bookmaker William Hill, has secured four deals with Isle Bettendorf, Isle Waterloo, Lakeside and Prairie Meadows. Bet.Works has partnered with Rhythm City and Riverside, while Ameristar chose Kambi and Catfish Bend selected PointsBet. The cost of entry for operators is relatively modest at $45,000 for a license, with revenue taxed at 6.75%.
Quoted by KTIV.com after the Altoona launch, William Hill CEO Joe Asher said: “Knowing the passion around sports in the area, coupled with the industry and the regulatory system, we’ve been pretty bullish on Iowa for a number of years. And that’s why we started the licensing process with our race book a couple of years ago in Iowa. It was all with the idea that one day sports betting was going to become legal and when it was we were going to be here.”
Compared with other states, Iowa has been swift in getting legal sports betting up and running. Betting legislation was approved only as recently as late April by state legislators and placed on the statute books by Governor Kim Reynolds in mid-May. The necessity for bettors to register in person, in location, for mobile betting has not been well received though. And that situation is expected to continue until the end of 2020.