Just 94 days after the Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the enabling legislation, Iowa sports betting joins the list of regulated US markets.
The first sportsbooks opened Thursday at noon local time, ushering in a new era for the region’s gambling industry. The timeline from passage to launch is among the quickest of the states which have so far sculpted sports betting from scratch.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) did one better, though, authorizing online betting in tandem with the retail launch. The first Iowa sports betting mobile apps are up and running, though registration requires a trip to the casino for the time being.
The launch of IA sports betting makes it the 11th US state with legal sports betting and the fifth with statewide mobile wagering. It is also the only one that managed to make online options available alongside brick-and-mortar sportsbooks from day one.
Where can you bet on sports in Iowa?
Here are the casinos which offer sports betting in Iowa today:
Placing a sports bet in Iowa is as simple as walking into one of those properties and asking where the new sportsbook is located. Provided you’re of-age, you won’t need anything else. IRGC Administrator Brian Ohorilko expects the state’s remaining sportsbooks to open before the NFL season starts in three weeks.
The initial setup for online betting, however, is not optimal.
The law requires new bettors to visit the licensing property to establish an account in person prior to placing a wager. Although the exact process may vary from casino to casino, it will always include some form of identity verification. This temporary inconvenience will remain in effect through 2020, after which registration will be available entirely online.
Hoping to ease the burden at launch, regulators did approve pre-registration for all active operators earlier this week.
Operators establish foothold in Iowa sports betting
For William Hill, it’s more of the same. Its four IA sports betting partners are the most of any company in the market.
The UK-based operator has been on the leading edge of launch in most US states, including an exclusive retail position in Delaware and Rhode Island. The future of its American empire did, however, take a recent hit with the announcement that Penn National chose Kambi as its new long-term partner.
With the works, please
Bet.Works, on the other hand, is celebrating a big milestone.
Iowa is its first jurisdiction, powering two sportsbooks for Elite Casino Resorts. The upcoming online rollout additionally will provide the first look at its proprietary new software, backed by an ambitious team assembled from within the industry.
Although its position as a B2B supplier keeps its brand behind the scenes, Bet.Works did make big headlines via an innovative partnership with theScore. The duo is currently working to debut that platform in New Jersey sports betting, while theScore also has a point of entry into Iowa under the license of Ameristar.
Elite will also facilitate US entry for prolific UK sportsbook operator Betfred. The English company will eventually power retail operations for Grand Falls and deploy a mobile product under its license.
IA sports betting specifics
If you’re looking to bet on sports in Iowa, there are a couple of things to know.
First, bettors must be at least 21 years old and physically located in the state to get down action. Online betting might require downloading or approving additional geolocation tools, by which operators verify a customer’s location.
Apart from in-state collegiate props, most sports and markets are on the board in Iowa. Provisions in that regard are more focused than those in states which chose to ban additional forms of NCAA betting.
The financial structure is comparatively kind, too.
Licenses to offer Iowa sports betting cost just $45,000 apiece, and operators pay back 6.75% of revenue to the state — the same as the established tax rate in Nevada. Each property can deploy up to two online brands apiece, facilitating as many as 38 “skins” from the 19 casinos.