Penn National to debut sports betting at Ameristar Casino in Iowa

The Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs in Iowa will join several other venues in offering sports betting later this month.

Penn National Gaming, Ameristar’s owner, announced yesterday that it plans to launch sports betting operations at the Iowa venue on 15 August 2019.

This news comes a week after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) finalized sports betting regulations and announced that sports betting can begin from 15 August.

Timothy J. Wilmott, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National, said: “Iowa is poised to become the first midwestern state to offer sports wagering since the federal ban was repealed last year.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 kickoff of football season.”

Penn National was also in the news last week after announcing four massive market-access agreements with sports betting companies.

What will the Ameristar sportsbook look like?

According to a press release, the Ameristar Casino will offer a “state-of-the-art sports betting experience” for patrons.

The new sportsbook will be located in the newly renovated Amerisports Bar & Grill and will feature a wagering counter with ticket writer stations and several new televisions. Betting kiosks will also be located throughout the venue.

Paul Czak, General Manager at Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs said: “Customers have been clamoring 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 sportsbook at Ameristar Casino Council Bluffs.”

Sports betting in Iowa

Iowa officially legalized sports betting in May, after Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF 617 into law.

The legislation authorized land-based and state-wide mobile sports wagering. However, state law prohibits sportsbooks from accepting bets on events involving Iowa’s college teams.

Mobile and online wagering won’t be available on 15 August, the IRGC has yet to set a launch date for online sports betting in Iowa.

Once online wagering goes live, Iowans will be required to register an account with a sportsbook in person, regardless of whether they plan to bet on mobile devices. However, this will only be the case up until 1 January 2021, after that date bettors will be able to register remotely from anywhere within the state.

Several other venues including the William Hill branded sportsbook at Lakeside Casino, are expected to launch sports betting on 15 August.

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