Iowa off to an early start
Legal Sports Report

How Mobile Could Start Early Before Iowa Sports Betting Launches

Iowa sports betting

Those looking to beat the rush for the upcoming launch of Iowa sports betting might be able to sign up early for mobile accounts.

Brian Ohorilko, administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC), tells Legal Sports Report that casinos with approved account registration controls could start taking sign-ups early next week. The first such approval was issued Wednesday.

People who register for an Iowa sports betting account still wouldn’t be able to place their first wager until noon on Aug. 15. Prior to Jan. 1, 2021, the IA sports betting law requires that online bettors establish their accounts in-person.

Mobile bets on Iowa sports betting launch day?

Five casinos are close to the finish line for taking online bets, according to Ohorilko.

He expects the four William Hill-affiliated properties — Prairie Meadows Racetrack and CasinoLakeside Hotel Casino and the two Isle Casino Hotel properties — to take mobile action on day one.

He cautions that each is still waiting for certification letters on technology from independent testing labs before it receives mobile authorization.

He foresees between six and nine casinos accepting in-person wagers on launch day, including those five. Eighteen of 19 casinos in Iowa obtained sports betting licenses.

How some Iowa sportsbooks will be ready first

Ohorilko indicated that IRGC began issuing controls in three phases before draft regulations had been approved to facilitate an Iowa sports betting launch before the Aug. 24 start of college football.

The casinos that were ready to take each phase as it came grabbed the advantage.

“The operators sitting in a real good place right now essentially completed those as they came out,” Ohorilko said.

For the retail sportsbooks that aren’t ready on the first day, he expects most of them to be up and running by the start of college football.

“Talking to operators, if there’s any delay in retail operations we’re talking about just a few weeks,” Ohorilko said. “But with respect to mobile, that range is varied to from being ready right away to some companies not launching until 2020.”

This article reflects information from PointsBet that it will not launch mobile on August 15.

Matthew Kredell
- Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with online sportsbook pioneer Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.
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