FanDuel Joins DraftKings In Iowa Daily Fantasy Sports Market
Legal Sports Report

FanDuel Becomes Iowa’s Second Daily Fantasy Sports Operator

Daily fantasy sports

The two major daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators are now both live in Iowa after FanDuel launched operations earlier this week.

The FanDuel launch comes nearly a month after DraftKings officially opened Iowa’s DFS market in late October.

DFS contests were expected to be up and running in August. The more than two-month delay was caused by rules and regulations in Iowa that were reportedly tighter than in other states.

Yahoo’s daily fantasy product launch is still pending license approval in the state.

DFS launches after Iowa sports betting

It’s rare that daily fantasy sports contests should launch after legalized sports betting, though that’s exactly what happened here. Iowa’s first sports bets were taken Aug. 15.

But the delay could be viewed as a positive for both DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.

The two have been cleaning up when it comes to sports betting market share in many states. That’s often because the companies have a database of daily fantasy sports users to convert into sports bettors.

Iowa mobile launches on hold, for now

Neither sportsbook is offering a mobile offering in Iowa yet. DraftKings Sportsbook is partnered with the three Wild Rose casinos. FanDuel Sportsbook is partnered with Boyd Gaming‘s two Diamond Jo casinos.

That means both operators can now start building their databases when they start mobile operations. Both DraftKings and FanDuel have been operating retail sportsbooks in the state as well, so those are also customers that could be cross-sold on DFS contests and, eventually, mobile sports betting.

Those potential mobile bettors will need to return to the casino, though. Iowa requires in-person registration until the end of 2020.

Professional sports only, for now

Even though there are no professional sports teams in Iowa, professional sports will be the only daily fantasy contest options for now.

SF 617 explicitly states no daily fantasy contests on college sports can be held until May 1 of next year.

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- Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.
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