October 26, 2019 3 min read


DraftKings Secures Daily Fantasy Sports License in Iowa

  • Iowa grants DraftKings a DFS license to set-up a shop in the state
  • Previous technology certification issues have delayed the launch
  • Iowa releases gaming revenues for the first full month of regulated gaming activities

Fantasy sports fans in Iowa can now create their dream teams following DrafKing’s authorization to offer daily fantasy sports.

DraftKings to Offer Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa

DraftKings is all set to launch in the state of Iowa. This is after DraftKings became the first operator to get a license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC). This means the operator has the green light to launch both mobile and online daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests in Iowa.

The authorization was handed on Thursday and chief of compliance at DraftKings, Tim Dent said, “We are happy to confirm we have received our license to offer daily fantasy sports in Iowa after working collaboratively with the IRGC on this process and look forward to sports fans in the Hawkeye State experiencing our industry-leading fantasy products soon”

In fact, the launch could be sooner than customers expect after DraftKings replied to several comments on their official Twitter account saying that they’ll be live in Iowa “in the coming days.”

On the other hand, Brian Ohorilko, IRGC administrator, confirmed the operator’s market entrance and hinted at the regulator already considering another DFS license application.

DraftKing’s Long Wait

DraftKings would have launched earlier but it had to exercise patience considering that Governor Kim Reynolds already signed into law a sports betting bill in May, meaning that the state could regulate fantasy sports. This makes Iowa the 21st state to regulate daily fantasy sports.

Ohorilko expects DFS sites to go live at the same time as the start of the NFL season similar to other retail sportsbooks. Nevertheless, the DraftKings encountered technology certification issues with an independent testing lab, causing delays in the launch.

It was only until close to NFL week 8 that DraftKings was able to meet all regulations. “DraftKings has demonstrated compliance with all of the pre-launch laws and regulations,” Ohorilko said. “FanDuel is still working on a few items. We continue to work very closely with them and hope we can get a second license issued at some point in the very near future.”

DraftKings Ready to Benefit from Iowa’s Sports Handle

IRGC’s approval of DraftKings comes after the regulator announced $4.96m in sports wagering revenue for the first month. According to the watchdog, September saw revenues amount to $38.5m with gamblers collecting $33.6m.

Meanwhile, approved operators contributed a total of $334,553 in taxes last month. Further, the regulator noted that online gambling generated the most revenue ($21.8m) in September compared to retail locations ($16.7m) in the same period. In terms of revenue, retail locations generated the most revenue ($2.9m) with online betting generating ($2.0m).

Iowa already has a large family of mobile betting options with apps, such as Fox Bet, PointsBet, and DraftKings’ main competitor, FanDuel operating in the state.

Mobile betting continues to dominate sportsbooks as the most popular source of revenue, with New Jersey and Pennsylvania both reporting that around 80% of all sports betting activity was coming from mobile.

Meanwhile, FanDuel has just rolled out its mobile offer in Indiana after the betting agency got regulatory approval earlier this week.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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