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Eight go live on first day of legal sports betting in Iowa


Legal sports betting has come to Iowa, with eight casinos launching retail sportsbooks and four rolling out mobile offerings in the Hawkeye State.

Prairie Meadows Casino, just northeast of Des Moines, Lakeside Casino in Osceola, Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Catfish Bend Casino in West Burlington and Isle Casino Hotels in Waterloo and Bettendorf all launched on 15 August.

Elite Casino Resorts’ Riverside Casino and Golf Resort and Rhythm City Casino were cleared for launch later in the day to also open retail sportsbooks.

Prairie, Lakeside and the Isle casinos in Bettendorf and Waterloo – all of which will host William Hill-branded sportsbooks – are also set to launch mobile sports betting apps today.

Catfish Bend Casino, which has partnered PointsBet, also has plans to launch a mobile offering though the retail offering will launch first. Penn National Gaming’s Ameristar Casino, meanwhile, launched a Kambi-powered offering, also retail-first.

As of 8:15 a.m. CST two additional venues, Riverside Casino and Golf Resort just south of Iowa City and Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, both owned by Elite Casino Resorts, had not received full authorisation to commence sports wagering.

However, a Riverside Casino representative told iGB North America the casino had received a license, and then launched later in the day, as did Rhythm City. Both venues, which have selected Bet.Works as their technology partner, will launch mobile wagering under the Elite Sportsbook brand.

Sports betting in Iowa was legalised after Governor Kim Reynolds signed legislation into law in May. Iowa will charge a 6.75% tax on sports betting revenue, while licensed gaming entities that offer sports wagering are required to pay a federal excise tax of 0.25%.

In a report, the state calculated the combined tax revenue may be worth $1.8m-$3.5m to the state treasury. Operators must also pay a license fee of $45,000, a sum agreed after numerous amendments made to the bill by the state House and Senate.

Betting is permitted on professional and collegiate sports, but there will be a ban on wagering on player performance for athletes representing a college team in Iowa. There is also a temporary ban on daily fantasy sports contests based on collegiate players, until May 2020.