Eighteen of the 19 state-licensed casinos have sports betting licenses — but not all had their operations ready to go when they could legally start operating last week. Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko says an agreement for a three-casino group was approved.
“Riverside, Grand Falls and Rhythm City — those are the three Iowa-owned casinos located in Davenport, Riverside and Larchwood — entered into an agreement with one of their corporate subsidiaries to conduct the advanced deposit sports wagering,” Ohorilko says. He says that agreement approval was one of the last steps for the casinos to move forward.
Ohorilko says they also approved an agreement with a sports betting company for the Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City.
“That company was Hard Rock Iowa Gaming and is a subsidiary of a Hard Rock mobile company that conducts online sports wagering,” he says.
The three Wild Rose casinos in Jefferson, Clinton and Davenport got approval for two agreements. “One with Draft Kings. I think many people are familiar with Draft Kings, they also do sports wagering in additions to fantasy sports. So, this was a sports wagering agreement. The Wild Rose casinos also entered into a second sports wagering agreement with a company called Rush Street Interactive,” according to Ohorilko.
He says there are now 10 retail operations and he expects the Q Casino in Dubuque to have its retail operation going early next week. There are four casinos that are already offering online betting. Ohorilko says the paperwork and approvals will continue until everyone is up and running. “Things are slowly progressing and I anticipate in the next couple of weeks the majority the canoes will be ready to with their retail operation,” Ohorilko says.
Ohorilko says he’s has a chance to talk a little with the casino managers that got up on and running on the first day last Thursday.
“We are hearing that a number of people who are coming into casinos to participate in sports wagering are folks who either have not been into a casino or have not in some time,” Ohorilko says. “So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out as the market matures.”
This is considered the trial run period — as sports gambling is really expected to get busy with the kickoff of the college and professional football season. The Racing and Gaming Commission held their monthly meeting today at the Riverside Casino.