Iowa to launch regulated wagering and fantasy sports

Iowa will launch its regulated sports wagering and fantasy sports market next week, following the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission signing off on new rules for the US state.

The rules will officially come into effect on August 15, with Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds having signed legislation into law in May. Consumers will be able to place bets in-person, online and also via mobile devices.

The Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs is set to be one of the first Iowa casinos to accept legal wagers in the state, having confirmed that it will launch services via its partnership with Penn National Gaming on August 15.

A new sportsnbook will also be opened at the new renovated Amerisports Bar & Grill, complete with a wagering counter with ticket writer stations. Kiosks will also be located throughout the casino property for consumers to place bets.

NFL American Football veteran, Tim Dwight will be placing the fires legal sports bet at the casino as part of the opening ceremony.

NFL American football veteran Tim Dwight will place the first legal sports bet at the casino as part of the opening ceremony.

Penn National chief executive Timothy Wilmott said: “Iowa is poised to become the first mid-western state to offer sports wagering since the federal ban was repealed last year

“We appreciate the diligence of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that will allow us to begin offering this great new amenity at Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs prior to the kick-off of football season.”

Paul Czak, General Manager at the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, added: “Customers have been clamouring to place sports bets since the law passed earlier this year. Collegiate and professional sports are embedded in the culture of Iowa and Nebraska.

“We look forward to welcoming customers from across the region at the incredible new sports book at Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs.”

Licenses for the regulated Iowa market will cost $45,000 (£37,000/€40,000) and all operators will be subject to a tax rate of 6.75% on their annual sports wagering net receipts.

Operators that have a secured license will be able to enter partnerships with up to two entitles to set up additional sites for sports betting, but only if the third party does not already hold a license in Iowa.

Betting is permitted on professional and collegiate sports, but there will be a ban on wagering on player performance for athletes who are representing for a college team in Iowa. In addition to this, there will also be a temporary ban on daily fantasy contests based  on collegiate players until May 2020.

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