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Legal Sports Report

As Iowa Sports Betting Awaits Governor’s Signature, Sportsbooks Start Making Moves

Iowa sports betting

Just how confident are some operators that the Iowa sports betting bill will be signed into law? Enough that they are lining up deals for when the day arrives.

PointsBet has been quick off the mark to gain a foothold in Iowa after striking a partnership with Catfish Bend Casino.

The multi-year deal with the Burlington property includes the launch of both retail and mobile sportsbook operations, providing approval by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

The planned “innovative sports-centric entertainment venue” will feature a sports bar and a multi-screen video and odds display wall, as well as further casino gaming options.

PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken said, “PointsBet is thrilled to announce this partnership, enabling us to create a first-class sportsbook for Iowa’s sports bettors at one of the best casino resorts in the Midwest.”

On the cusp of legalizing Iowa sports betting

Legislation to legalize IA sports betting is just waiting for the signature of Governor Kim Reynolds after a sports betting and daily fantasy sports bill passed both the House and the Senate last week.

Reynolds revealed during a campaign debate that she thought Iowa should regulate sports betting. There are 13 casinos in the Hawkeye State eligible to offer wagering on sports should it be given the governor’s seal of approval.

However, PointsBet isn’t the first operator to ink a tie-up with an Iowa casino ahead of potential legislation. In January, William Hill forged a partnership with Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino to operate an 8,600 square-foot sportsbook.  

PointsBet makes a sports betting splash

Since unleashing its online NJ sports betting app in New Jersey in January, Australia-based PointsBet has turned heads with innovative product and unique marketing.

As well as a traditional sportsbook offering, PointsBet’s USP is its Points Betting feature which rewards or penalizes players based on the final margin of victory. The more you are right, the more you win – and vice versa.  

The company, which runs its US operations from an office in Jersey City, has also been aggressive with its pricing and promotions.

In-house sportsbook technology

One ace up PointsBet’s sleeve is its proprietary technology platform. Unlike some other NJ sports betting operations, the company isn’t reliant upon third-party suppliers to power its product.

This agility enables PointsBet to provide gamblers with a differentiated offering in New Jersey – a crowded market with more than a dozen mobile sportsbook brands. So being in full control of its product roadmap is clearly a bonus.  

An in-house betting product was probably an appealing proposition for Catfish Bend Casino as it looks to stand out in Iowa, a state with a modest population of just more than 3 million.

PointsBet operates in New Jersey alongside FanDuel Sportsbook on Meadowlands Racetrack’s license.

Julian Rogers
- Julian is a freelance journalist who has covered the ins and outs of the global online and offline gambling industry since 2011.
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