As the legal sports betting market in Iowa moves closer to becoming fully operational, Iowa casinos have announced partnerships with sports betting companies William Hill US and Betfred, Iowa sports bettors can start wagering as soon as state regulators have the proposed infrastructure in place, scheduled to be before the start of the upcoming football season.
Both deals are pending regulatory approval.
In preparation for the first big sports betting season in state history, Eldorado Resorts, which operates Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf as well as Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, made William Hill US its official sportsbook operator.
Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf is just a three-hour drive west of Chicago, on the Iowa-Illinois border in the Quad Cities region. Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo is about 90 minutes from Iowa City and two hours from Des Moines. Together, the casinos admitted over 1.7 million bettors across both casinos over the last fiscal year, which ended June 30.
“These two Iowa destinations will offer sports fans amazing new opportunities to enjoy the games and teams they love in new and exciting settings,” said David Grolman, William Hill US’s president of retail operations.
Anthony Carano, president and COO of Eldorado Resorts said, “Expanding the William Hill relationship to include Iowa offers our loyal customers a full complement of gaming action and plays an important role in providing guests the unbelievable experience they have come to expect from Eldorado Resorts.”
Similarly, Elite Casino Resorts, which operates three Iowa casinos, Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood and Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport, tabbed Betfred as its official sportsbook operator.
"I'm delighted to partner with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa and we look forward to working with our new partners and sharing our joint expertise in what is a very exciting opportunity and market for Betfred,” Betfred’s co-founder and chief executive Fred Done said.
Betfred is one the world's largest privately-owned retail bookmakers. This marks the UK company’s first foray into the U.S. market, where the company linked up with SCCG Management in Las Vegas to represent the bookmaker in both the Native American and non-tribal gaming markets.
Across all three Elite properties, Casino Resorts casinos admitted over 3.6 million bettors over the last fiscal year, and each location higher revenues during the same timeframe despite the massive amounts of floodwaters that troubled their rivals.
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill in May to legalize sports betting at any of Iowa’s 19 casinos for people 21 years and older. The bill also legalized online sports wagering after age verification on casino premises as well as fantasy sports betting.
According to Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Brian Ohorilko, casinos in Iowa could go live with sports betting as soon as August assuming everything goes as planned with the adoption of the state regulations Iowa created this summer to oversee sports betting.
The middle of August is presumably the earliest a casino in Iowa could take its first legal sports bet in the state, so both Eldorado Resorts and Elite Casino Resorts have given themselves a good opportunity to hit the ground running.