Iowa Sports Betting Efforts Continue to Move Forward
Across the United States, lawmakers have been busy for over year working on sports betting legislation within their respective states. Some has seen their legislation advance while others have passed the gambling activity into law. Iowa is one state that fits into the latter category. Lawmakers approved sports betting in Iowa and now the Racing and Gaming Commission has approved the final rules for the new industry. With this step complete, players are just a few weeks away from accessing sports wagering.
During a special meeting in Des Moines last week, the Racing and Gaming Commission gave their stamp of approval to the rules for sports betting. August 15th at noon was set as the launch date for betting. Players will have access to wagering via professional and college sports along with some fantasy sports options.
In Iowa, there are 19 licensed casinos. Of that number, 18 will be offering sports betting. Only the Casino Queen decided to opt out of offering the option. Of those providing services, around 15 are going to offer a mobile component on top of their land-based services.
Not all operators will be ready in time for the August launch date. Most would like to be operational by at least the end of August as college football season begins or by early September when the NFL season starts.
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One venue that is ready to go with their sports betting operations is Prairie Meadows. The venue located in Altoona is already a hot spot for pari-mutuels and horse racing and wants to waste no time offering sports betting. The property has an 8,600 square foot section waiting to open its doors as the official sportsbooks in the area.
Chief Strategic Officer and Senior Vice President of the Prairie Meadows Brad Rhines commented that whatever the start date is in the state is when the venue will start offering services.
To take part in the new industry, operators must pay a licensing fee of $45,000. The fee has an annual renewal rate of $10,000. The casino hold, the revenues the venue earns after the winning wagers are paid, will be taxed at 6.75%.
Before players can begin placing bets, they must visit a casino and prove their identity and age. This is required for on-site betting as well as online. An account is set up with that casino after the identification requirements are met. The in-person registration has an expiration date of January 1st 2021.
For mobile applications, operators must be checked for integrity and security by regulators. Once approved, the apps can then be added to sites for download or within app stores. Prairie Meadows is planning on offering online betting and reportedly will have their app released a few days before the 15th.
Now it is just a waiting game to see who will offer services first and how successful the industry will be in the state. Only a few more weeks before it’s go time!