15th August 2019 has become the first day that Iowans could legally bet on sports in licensed casinos on land, as well as on mobile. Eight casinos have taken the chance and opened their brand new retail sportsbooks to public from Day 1. Four of those have also launched sports wagering applications for mobile devices.
Eight have started it, more will come
Among the first to go public with their retail sportsbooks were Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Catfish Bend Casino in West Burlington, Isle Casino Hotels in Waterloo and Bettendorf, Lakeside Casino in Osceola, Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Rhythm City Casino, and Prairie Meadows Casino near Des Moines.
Of these, Isle Casino Hotels in Waterloo and Bettendorf, Lakeside Casino and Prairies Meadows Casino have also released their mobile applications which are powered by William Hill. Catfish Bend Casino is planning to follow with an app for its PointsBet sportsbook but for now has only opened in retail. Same goes for Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, and Rhythm City, whose technological partner is BetWorks. Ameristar Casino is relying on Kambi for its sportsbook, retail for now, mobile for later.
While the above mentioned casinos were the first to launch their sportsbooks, it is likely they will not be the last as the law that was approved by the state’s governor, Kim Reynolds, back in May, authorises all 19 casinos in Iowa to offer sports betting services through up to 2 brands per licensee.
Legal sports betting is expected to bring benefits for the state
The estimates predict that the legalization of sports wagering should boost casino revenue going to the state treasury by about $1.8 million — $3.5 million. Each operator is required to pay 6.75% tax on sports betting revenue and a 0.25% federal excise tax. The licence fee was set to $45,000.
The legalization should also improve Iowa’s casinos’ standing in year-on-year comparison. In 2018 the state was only 0.3% up on the previous year, while the nationwide average for the same period was 3%.