Daily Fantasy Sports Fans Will Soon Have Their Day In Iowa

Written By Matthew Kredell on October 11, 2019
Iowa DFS

The day is coming for regulated daily fantasy sports to make its long-anticipated debut in Iowa.

Brian Ohorilko, administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, tells Legal Sports Report there’s a good possibility that DraftKings and FanDuel get authorization to offer regulated DFS next week.

Unexpected potholes and detours have marked the road to DFS approval in Iowa.

Ohorilko once expected DFS to be up and running in Iowa prior to the start of the NFL season. Now he’s hoping for Iowans to have the opportunity to start building stacks for Week 7.

Why Iowa DFS faced delays

Retail sportsbook operators received quick approval in Iowa, with Ohorilko championing the commission’s flexibility in allowing operators to use processes that work in other places.

For Iowa DFS, Ohorilko admits that the industry has found the rules and regulations more stringent than other states in which they are operating.

The commission needed to bring in a third independent testing lab to do initial testing for the companies’ equipment and systems, causing much of the delay.

“In the simplest terms, the issue has been the technology certifications and process called ‘change control,’ which specifies when changes to various technology should be logged, reported to the regulator, or submitted to the lab,” Ohorilko said.

The final step to authorization is approval of change control processes that detail the evaluation procedures for all updates and changes to equipment and systems.

More mobile sports betting apps coming to Iowa

The same issues facing DFS sites also have delayed online authorization for some Iowa sports betting operators.

William Hill and Elite sportsbooks launched online sportsbooks for seven of the 19 commercial casinos in Iowa back in August. Since then, nothing.

Ohorilko said that the commission hopes to authorize Q Casino and PointsBet to go live with their mobile sports wagering applications next week. PointsBet is partnered with Catfish Bend Casino.

Q Casino already is taking pre-registrations for its mobile app. Iowa sports betting law requires that people register for online sports betting accounts in person at casinos throughout 2020.

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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 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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