Just in time for football season, Iowans are now able to wager on sporting events at six of the state's casinos or through a mobile app.
Iowa is the 11th state to legalize the activity after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued last year opened sports betting up to all U.S. states.
Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association, said he is thrilled with the development.
“This is an exciting and historic opportunity for those who enjoy watching pro and college sports, who will look forward to being able to place wagers in a regulated, legal and fun environment,” Ehrecke told The Center Square. “It is another entertainment amenity that casinos will offer either in their retail sports books or via a mobile app that can be used anywhere in the state to place bets.”
Casinos in Altoona, Bettendorf, Osceola, and Waterloo offer the opportunity to bet on-site and through a mobile app. Casinos in Burlington and Council Bluffs are offering on-site betting, with mobile betting coming soon.
Eventually, all of Iowa’s 19 casinos will offer sports betting.
Ehrecke explained that in order for sports betting to be run efficiently, “extensive rules and standards [must be established] along with ongoing oversight by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to give the public the assurance and confidence that sports wagering in Iowa is being offered with the utmost integrity.”
According to Ehrecke, the state’s commercial gaming industry “is considered a viable part of Iowa’s economy and adding value to the state’s entertainment and tourism industries.”
The industry provides $1 billion in annual economic impact, he said.
“Legalizing sports wagering in Iowa will continue to enhance that and has created new employment for positions to work in the respective casino sports book operations; plus construction jobs for the extensive renovations to create a fun space to watch games and place wagers,” Ehrecke added.