Gambling on Sports Begins at Iowa QCs Casinos

Aug 15, 2019

Both casinos in the Iowa Quad Cities are ready to offer customers the chance to bet on sports, beginning at noon today.

Michelle O'Neill reports the addition of sports betting is also creating jobs.


The sound of fans cheering for their favorite teams will soon be heard at most of the 19 casinos in Iowa, including Rhythm City in Davenport and Isle in Bettendorf.

Brian Ohorilko, Administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, says the new law gives the casinos a reason to spend money and hire more employees.

Nancy Ballenger, General Manager of Isle Casino in Bettendorf, says Isle has renovated part of the casino floor to make room for sports betting.

Willam Hill US has a long-time partnership with Eldorado Resorts, the parent company of Isle casinos in Bettendorf and Waterloo. It's hired about 25 people at each Iowa location. And it will run the online sports betting app for the two casinos.

Mo Hyder is the General Manager of Davenport's Rhythm City Casino. Three years ago, it moved from the downtown riverfront to new site along I-80. Hyder says the company anticipated the passage of sports betting legislation in Iowa and built the Draft Day sport bar with that in mind. Rhythm City has hired 10-12 employees to run its sports book. Bet.Works will handle it online app.

Ohorilko says Iowa will tax sports betting revenue at 6.75%. And each casino's charity partner will receive 0.75%. Three types of wagering are included in Iowa's sports betting law.

  • traditional, on premises sports betting
  • Online wagering using an "app" but only within in the state borders
  • Daily fantasy sports betting

People will not be allowed to bet on the performances of individual college athletes. But Ballenger says Iowa's law is well-written with appropriate rules and regulations, which should help sports betting be successful in the state.