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Legal Sports Report

DraftKings Gets First Approval To Offer Iowa DFS Contests

Iowa DFS

Sports fans finally will be able to put together the team of their dreams from the fields of Iowa.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission issued authorization Thursday for DraftKings to conduct daily fantasy sports contests in the state.

“We are happy to confirm we have received our license to offer daily fantasy sports in Iowa after working collaboratively with the IRGC on this process and look forward to sports fans in the Hawkeye State experiencing our industry-leading fantasy products soon,” said Tim Dent, chief compliance officer for DraftKings.

DraftKings began offering paid-entry fantasy sports to Iowans on Friday.

Long and winding road to Iowa DFS

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds approved the regulation of fantasy sports when she signed a sports betting bill into law in May.

Most casinos in the state launched retail sportsbooks before the beginning of the NFL season, and IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko expected DFS sites to launch by then as well.

Issues with technology certification by an independent testing lab and the process by which changes in technology should be logged, reported to the regulator, or submitted to the lab caused significant delays.

Ahead of Week 8 of the NFL season, DraftKings finally cleared the regulatory hurdles and FanDuel is close as well.

“DraftKings has demonstrated compliance with all of the pre-launch laws and regulations,” Ohorilko said. “FanDuel is still working on a few items. We continue to work very closely with them and hope we can get a second license issued at some point in the very near future.”

DraftKings expands fantasy sports reach nationally

Iowa is the 21st state to regulate DFS.

With Iowa on board, the remaining states where players are blocked are Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington. Previously red Alabama also legalized DFS this year.

DraftKings operates retail sportsbooks at the Wild Rose Casino locations in Jefferson, Emmetsburg and Clinton and is preparing to launch its mobile sports betting app in Iowa.

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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