Sports Betting Comes to Iowa
Good news for sports betting fans in Iowa, starting this week the state will launch its regulated sports betting and fantasy sports market. This became reality after the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission voted 5-0 last month to approve the new rules for sports wagering and started looking into license applications made by 18 of Iowa’s regulated casinos.
The new rules will take effect at noon on August 15. Players will be able to place their bets online, in person and via mobile apps.
Iowa became the 11th state to offer legal sports betting to its residents since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the PASPA law last year, which was in place for more than 25 years.
The first sportsbooks will start operating on Thursday
Ameristar Casino will be among the first casinos in Iowa to start accepting legal bets this week. The casino has already partnered with Penn National Gaming and confirmed it will be open for business starting August 15.
Ameristar also announced that it will open a new sportsbook at the Amerisports Bar & Grill, together with wagering counters and kiosks throughout the casino property for visitors to place bets.
The casino opening ceremony will be held this Thursday, where the former NFL star Tim Dwight will place the first bet.
“Iowa is poised to become the first mid-western state to offer sports wagering since the federal ban was repealed last year,” said Timothy Wilmott, Chief Executive Officer at Penn National Gaming.
He also added that they appreciated the collaboration of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission which allowed the company to begin offering this amenity at Ameristar Casino before the start of the new football season.
The General Manager at the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Paul Czak also commented that “Customers have been clamoring to place sports bets since the law passed earlier this year. Collegiate and professional sports are embedded in the culture of Iowa and Nebraska. We look forward to welcoming customers from across the region at the incredible new sportsbook at Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs.”
More bookmakers are expected to follow soon
Casino operators interested in offering their business in Iowa will have to pay a licensing fee of $45,000 and will be subjected to a tax rate of 6.75% on their annual sports wagering net receipts.
The new legislation allows businesses with a valid sportsbook license to enter partnerships with up to two entities for setting up sports betting sites, provided that the third party doesn’t already hold a license in Iowa.
Other big names such as the British bookmaker William Hill are also set to appear on the market soon through partnerships with local casinos, such as the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino.
As of now, betting is permitted on professional and collegiate sports, but there will be a ban on wagering on the performance of athletes representing Iowan college teams. Bets on daily fantasy sports contests based on collegiate players are also temporarily banned until May 2020.