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Iowa becomes the 3rd state of 2019 to offer legal sports betting

Joseph Reynolds Iowa bet

“All winners!” said Joseph Reynolds, a WWII veteran and resident of Clarke County, who placed the ceremonial first bet at Iowa’s Lakeside Hotel and Casino earlier today.

And with his $20 wager on Iowa to beat Iowa State and another $20 put down on the Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl LIV, the field of sports betting dreams is now officially open.

Iowa became the 3rd state of 2019 to offer legal sports betting when several of its casinos opened their sportsbooks and began accepting wagers on Thursday, August 15 at noon CT.

The Hawkeye State joins Arkansas and New York, who began operations earlier this year, and is now the 11th state overall and the first in the Midwest to accept legal wagers on sports.

Additionally, Iowa is the first state this year to launch mobile sports betting — the most popular and fastest-growing segment of the US sports gambling market — and to have it available with land-based sportsbooks.

Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia legalized and opened sportsbooks last year following the US Supreme Court repeal of PASPA on May 14, 2018, which lifted the prohibition on sports betting and allowed all states to join the exempted Nevada.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the Iowa sports betting bill, S 617, into law on May 13, 2019, legalizing brick-and-mortar sportsbooks as well as online and mobile wagering.

Despite several states struggling to set rules and guidelines — causing numerous launch delays, as a result — Iowa managed to authorize licensed brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and mobile sports betting operators in just three months.

Iowa sports betting details

Eight of the 19 licensed casinos in Iowa offer brick-and-mortar sportsbooks starting today. Most — if not all — locations are expected to launch before the end of the month, ahead of the college football and NFL season.

If you’re looking to place a wager in Iowa, here’s everything you need to know before making a bet in the newest state to offer legal sports betting.

Legalized: Monday, May 13, 2019

Start date: Thursday, August 15 at noon CT

Regulatory body: Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission

Minimum age: 21 years old

Betting allowed: In-person, online, and mobile statewide

Launch locations:

  • Ameristar Casino Hotel ‒ Council Bluffs
  • Catfish Bend Casino ‒ Burlington
  • Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf ‒ Bettendorf
  • Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo ‒ Waterloo
  • Lakeside Hotel Casino ‒ Osceola
  • Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel ‒ Altoona
  • Rhythm City Casino Resort ‒ Davenport
  • Riverside Casino & Golf Resort ‒ Riverside

Mobile launch: William Hill properties (Isle Bettendorf, Isle Waterloo, Lakeside, Prairie Meadows)

Eligible for license: 19 of 22 casinos in Iowa

Mobile license: Limit of two per casino

Mobile restrictions: Must have two feet inside state lines

Mobile registration: In-person required for online/mobile until January 1, 2021

Sports allowed: All professional and college sports

General restrictions: No prop bets allowed on games with in-state college teams

Tax rate: 6.75%

License fee: $45,000 and $10,000 annual renewal

Daily fantasy sports: DFS for pro sports will likely be ready when the 2019 NFL season starts, but DFS for college sports is prohibited until May 1, 2020. DFS operators will be subject to a $5,000 license fee and a 6.75% tax rate.

Iowa problem gambling help: Iowa Gambling Treatment Program

Who’s up next?

With Iowa legal sports betting now live, you may be wondering which states will be next to open sportsbooks.

Here’s a list of states that have legalized sports betting and are currently pending launch. The dates listed aren’t set in stone and are the latest estimated target dates from lawmakers and regulators.

Next states to launch legal sportsbooks

Indiana ‒ September 1

Montana ‒ Before 2019 NFL season opener

Oregon ‒ Before 2019 NFL season opener

Tennessee ‒ January 2020

Washington DC ‒ January 2020

Illinois ‒ February 2020

New Hampshire ‒ Early 2020

North Carolina ‒ Fall 2019

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