Iowa’s in-person registration requirement for online betting ends on Friday

From Friday the in-person registration requirement for online betting accounts in Iowa will end, allowing bettors in the state to create mobile and online betting accounts remotely from anywhere within the state.

The in-person registration requirement for online betting in Iowa will end on Friday paving the way for remote registration from anywhere within state lines.

Remote registration in Iowa

Sports betting went live in Iowa in August 2019 with a law that forced bettors in the state to create and register their online betting accounts in-person at one of the state’s casino sportsbooks. The law was set to expire on 1 January 2021.

Iowa’s in-person registration requirement limited the market as it forced prospective sports bettors to travel to one of the state’s casinos and deterred some operators from entering the market forcing them to wait for the registration requirement to run out.

According to Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko, this is going to change as several new operators are preparing to enter the market.

Ohorilko said: “We are processing license applications or are aware of applications that appear to be imminent for up to an additional ten new online sports companies. It is more likely than not that our market will look very different by summer once this new wave of applications subsides.”

There are currently eight mobile sportsbooks active in Iowa now including BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, Elite, Hard Rock, Q Sportsbook, PointsBet and William Hill.

Remote registration could help market reach full potential

Once bettors can create their accounts remotely from anywhere within the state, Iowa’s sports betting market may finally reach its full potential.

Since major sports resumed in August, Iowa’s sports betting handle and revenue have continued to grow. However, Iowa is one of the few states with mobile betting that has yet to pass $100m in monthly handle.

November marked Iowa’s best month for handle with bettors wagering $87.2m, while Iowa’s best month for revenue was October with $9.1m generated.

Although Iowa may not be the largest state, aside from its neighbour Illinois its other five border states Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin do not offer legal sports betting. As a result of this, bettors in those states will now simply need to cross Iowa’s border to place a bet which could provide the market with a massive boost.

Other states with in-person registration requirements for online betting

Now that the in-person registration requirement for online betting in Iowa has come to an end, only two states require bettors to sign up in-person at a casino: Nevada and Illinois.

Illinois’ in-person registration requirement is also temporary. According to the state’s law, remote registration will be permitted when the state’s first online-only operator launches in the state, which can only happen 18 months after the market launched in March 2020.

However, in Illinois, the in-person registration requirement has been suspended since June as a result of the coronavirus pandemic forcing casinos in the state to close. 

Looking to Nevada, remote registration may be coming further down the line. During the period where Nevada’s casino sportsbooks were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, sportsbooks held drive-through registrations and deposits. 

A workshop to discuss remote registration in Nevada was scheduled for November but was cancelled.

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