New Online Operators, Easier Registration Await Iowa in 2021
Already a growing state for sports betting in the Midwest, Iowa is poised to become even bigger in 2021.
On Jan. 1, the in-person registration requirement for sports betting ends in Iowa, allowing new bettors to sign up without having to enter one of the state’s casinos and opening the state to new operators.
With remote registration allowed, the number of operators, currently eight in Iowa, is expected to more than double, according to gamblingcompliance.com. Brian Ohorilko, director of gaming for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, told the website he expected 19 operators to be live on or shortly after Jan. 1.
Major operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet and William Hill are already live in Iowa through partnerships with casinos. Five more were approved for licenses at the board’s November meeting and the commission is working on approving other applications.
“With the in-person registration requirement going away on Jan. 1, there has been some rekindled interest in this market. And so, there are a number of sports wagering companies trying to enter this market by reaching agreements with casinos,” Ohorilko said, according to KIWA radio. “Whether it will be Jan. 1 or Feb. 1 — the market here in this state will look very different in the next few months simply because of the high volume of new companies that we are going to see trying to compete for online sports.”
Check Out: Latest updates and legal Iowa Sports Betting Sites.
What to Expect in Iowa
While there are no immediate plans for online casinos or online poker in the Hawkeye State, sports betting, especially online, will continue to grow in Iowa. Other Midwest states are seeing bigger numbers because of mobile. Indiana, topped $250 million in handle in November, 85% of it on mobile, while Illinois saw $434.6 million in October (November figures aren’t out for Illinois), 94.3% mobile.
Iowa posted a record handle month in November with $87.2 million, which was up 6.4% from October’s $81.9 million, the previous record. The mobile handle was $62.4 million, which was 71.6% of the total handle.
Of the 18 Iowa casinos allowing sports bets, 17 have mobile sports betting (Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel and Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs added mobile sports betting in October).
Bright and sunny. The mobile handle in Iowa should be about 85-90% of the market with nearly 20 operators online in 2021. In addition, the Iowa Casino Association will be lobbying state lawmakers to legalize online casino gaming. The legislature reconvenes on Jan. 11.
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