Sports betting in Iowa is anticipated to receive a major boost, as the in-person registration requirement expired last week for sports fans to open online betting accounts.
Legal sports betting was first launched in the state in August 2019. Under Iowa’s athletic gaming law, bettors were required to open an account at a land-based casino in order to place bets online and via mobile apps. That requirement is no longer valid from last week, January 1.
During the first full legal sports betting fiscal year, Iowa sportsbooks handled $ 368 million in gambling and generated revenue of around $ 25 million. The state has already surpassed these totals in the first five months of the current fiscal year, and the sportsbooks have generated more than $ 27 million in revenue. Most of it, about $ 13.8 million, came from online gambling, as Iowans were urged to avoid physical gambling venues.
According to industry experts, online gambling could account for up to 90% of the state market as the in-person registration requirement was removed, which is expected to result in increased participation.
Eight sports betting companies are licensed to operate mobile betting apps in Iowa, but the state Racing and Gaming Commission expects that number go up to 20 and that several interested operators are in the licensing process.
A spike in sports betting deals
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko said in a recent interview that the current spike in applications for sports betting licenses is very similar to the lawsuit the agency saw prior to the 2019 NFL season, when the practice had just been legalized in the state.
He went on to say that there has also been a surge in new deals between the state’s land-based casinos and online sports betting companies, with the casinos partnering to your second or even third brand gambling website.
Under state law, each land-based casino can offer up to two individually branded gambling sites. The Racing and Gaming Commission is authorized to allow a third-party brand website, if desired.
Iowa’s in-person registration requirement is fulfilled an opposition power when it was introduced a year and a half ago, and critics argued that it would dampen participation and hurt revenue.
Lawmakers backing the state’s approach argued that it was the right way to present the new online gambling opportunity and that temporarily requiring gamblers to open accounts at a physical facility was a good security precaution.
Illinois introduced a similar requirement for in-person registration when the state legalized sports betting in the summer of 2019. Governor JB Pritzker temporarily removed the requirement in June, as state gambling venues were required to remain closed due to the Covid- pandemic. 19 and after it reopened, customers were urged to avoid the crowd at these.