With football season quickly approaching, Iowa’s state gaming commission and several casinos are hoping to roll out their sports betting platform before the kickoff of college football on August 24th. With less than five weeks until the first kick off, you could say that the state is in a “two-minute offense.”
In May, Governor Reynolds signed a bill to legalize sports betting. However, it didn’t go into effect until July 1st. Now, state leaders are putting the final touches on these new regulations in order to start taking wagers as soon as possible. Furthermore, casinos are quickly renovating their facilities to include sports betting amenities while also actively seeking partnerships for online platforms.
By the end of July, the state’s gaming oversight commission will hold a meeting on whether or not to approve the new rules and regulations for sports betting. If they do approve these new regulations, then the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission expects residents to be able to place legal wagers by mid-August. That timeframe would be roughly a week before the first college football games kickoff and at least three weeks before the NFL season starts.
Some of the third-party companies that the casinos are looking to work with are DraftKings and FanDuel. Both DFS, sports betting powerhouses have expressed an eagerness to expand into Iowa. FanDuel is leading the charge for online betting in New Jersey and just released their app in Pennsylvania. DraftKings is also in New Jersey and has had success in other states as well. Representatives of these two companies believe that the state will be poised for sports betting by football season.
Despite the overall urgency to start taking wagers, some casino executives are exercising a more cautious approach. Although they believe the state is on the cusp of activating the sports betting platform, casino execs are thinking that residents might not be able to place legal wagers until closer to the NFL season which starts on September 5th.
We’ll find out how close Iowa is to releasing their sports betting platform at the July 30th commission meeting in West Des Moines.
The following is a quick look at Iowa’s new sports betting law (SF 617):
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