Not even a month after the in-person registration for sports betting in Iowa was lifted, the benefits are already present. Besides more revenue for the operators, many major industry players launched their own sports betting apps.
Iowa Removes in-Person Sports Betting Registration
Iowa was one of the pioneers to launch sports betting back in August 2019. This was possible thanks to the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that struck down PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). PASPA restricted sports betting to Nevada and was in effect for 25 years. However, once the Supreme Court deemed PASPA unconstitutional, it was up to each state’s legislature to arrange the legalization and regulation of sports betting. As noted, although Iowa was among the first states to launch sports betting, the activity was restricted to in-person registration only.
In other words, any players that wanted to place a bet in Iowa had to visit a land-based casino sportsbook to register and then use an online app. This restricted the sports betting offering by outside operators and undoubtedly capped the revenue which may be raised by the activity.
However, the restriction for in-person registration for sports betting in Iowa was lifted earlier this month. As a result, starting from January 1, any resident of Iowa that wanted to participate in sports betting was given the chance to do so from the comfort of their home, only by downloading a mobile app.
Remote Registration for Sports Betting Brings Benefits
It hasn’t been even a month since the change and the benefits of the gambling expansion are already present. Derron Heldt, VP of Racing at Prairie Meadows Casino spoke to KCCI on Thursday and revealed that the company is observing strong results for the first 15 days. According to him, results show a 70% revenue increase year-over-year, which translates to approximately $3 million.
Following the state’s approval for remote registration, multiple industry players such as BetMGM and PointsBet rolled out dedicated mobile sports betting apps in Iowa. Undoubtedly, the relaxing of the registration measures for sports betting is also going to bring more tax revenue, which may prove to be vital for the state. Furthermore, Iowa’s state officials have acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on the gambling industry and the potential future competition from neighboring Nebraska. Consequently, state officials revealed that that casino tax changes may be up for debate this year.