The State of Iowa will join the growing list of legal sports gambling States this Thursday, Aug. 15. The state legislature recently approved live sports betting at the already established casinos in the Hawkeye State. This will make Iowa the 11th State to offer legal sports gambling.
The official launch date for legal sports gaming in Iowa is August 15. Of the 19 licensed casinos in Iowa, 18 have begun the process to open live sportsbooks. Of those, 15 are also preparing mobile applications to link customers to the sportsbook. As of now, none of the mobile applications will be up and running this week.
Three Sportsbooks to Open August 15
It would appear that three of the Iowa casinos will meet the opening day of legal sports betting. Once the legislation became law, the approval process went much faster than many anticipated. Final rules and licensing issues were only resolved in the last week of July. Still three casinos will meet the first day deadline this week. As many as six or seven more casinos could have sportsbooks up and running for opening day of the NFL season.
Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs (Omaha Metropolitan Area)
The Ameristar Bar & Grill has been converted to the new sportsbook, with wagering kiosks located throughout the property.
“Iowa is poised to become the first midwestern state to offer sports wagering since the federal ban was repealed last year,” Penn National CEO Timothy Wilmott said. “We appreciate the diligence of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that will allow us to begin offering this great new amenity at Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs prior to the kickoff of football season.”
Lakeside Hotel & Casino in Osceola
Mobile wagering will require players to visit the casino and sign-up in person to have their age verified and mobile devices registered.
“Our new sports book will provide the highest level of entertainment and customer service in Iowa,” said David Monroe, general manager for Lakeside Hotel & Casino. “We are excited to partner with William Hill and take the sports betting experience to the next level.”
Prairie Meadows in Altoona (Des Moines Metropolitan Area)
State Sens. Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) and Tony Bisignano (D-Des Moines) will place ceremonial first bets at Prairie Meadows Sportsbook during its grand opening Thursday.
“There’s an excitement, just that kind of vibe,” said Wes Ehrecke, president of the Iowa Gaming Association. “We have another entertainment option to enjoy watching sports by betting on them, and we can let players do that in retail and mobile environments.”
Dr. Tim Lavalli holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has focused his work on the mental aspects of competition and gambling. He co-authored Check-Raising the Devil, the autobiography of poker pro Mike Matusow. You can follow him on Twitter @timlavalli.