There are now five online sports betting operators in Iowa after the Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) launched an online sportsbook with Hard Rock Sioux City.
This isn’t the first launch between Gaming Innovation and a Hard Rock property. The platform is the same experience customers would get in New Jersey through Hard Rock Atlantic City’s online sportsbook. Hard Rock Sioux City is a branded property that is owned by Peninsula Pacific and Warner Gaming.
The mobile app joins William Hill, which is live with four casinos, and Elite‘s three casinos that run on the Bet.Works platform. Q Casino‘s self-operated app on IGT‘s platform and PointsBet also launched last month.
Hard Rock ranked ninth in handle out of the state’s 18 casinos taking bets last month. GIG’s mobile platform should help boost that total.
What to expect from Hard Rock’s mobile betting
Just how much online sports betting will add to Hard Rock’s handle share is still up in the air. Hard Rock has not set the world on fire in New Jersey with its app, despite having a well-known casino brand.
Then, of course, there’s the albatross for Iowa online sports betting: in-person registration. Signing up for any sports betting mobile account must be done at a casino until 2021. Mobile accounted for 56.7% of last month’s handle.
The population presents another issue for Hard Rock. Sioux City only has about 80,000 people, meaning the pool of potential sports bettors could be limited.
With its relatively remote location in northwest Iowa, Hard Rock likely won’t see the casual, walk-in traffic some of the casinos near Des Moines or Cedar Rapids might see.
Hard Rock Sioux City is a stone’s throw from the Nebraska and South Dakota borders as well, but isn’t near a major city for those two states, either.
What is Gaming Innovation Group?
GIG is a publicly traded company out of Norway and headquartered in Malta that specializes in providing online gaming platforms.
The first agreement between GIG and Hard Rock came in October 2018 with a contract signed to offer NJ sports betting that November.
The two companies extended that agreement to include Iowa this past September.
GIG also operates iGaming for Hard Rock in New Jersey. The two were the first to offer online live dealer games from Evolution Gaming in the state.