888 Inks Access Deal, Readies For Iowa’s 2021 Online Sports Betting Market

Written By Derek Helling on December 3, 2020 - Last Updated on December 6, 2022

There may not be anywhere close to 888 options for online sports betting in Iowa yet, but it could soon feel like it. The 888 sportsbook is the latest to gain entry into the Hawkeye State.

The online gaming company has closed a deal with Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington for one of its online skins. When it plans to launch is unclear, though it’s will be when online sports betting registration is allowed.

Details on future 888 sports betting in Iowa

Operator 888 Holdings is expanding into three legal sports betting states soon: Iowa, Colorado and Indiana. When 888Sport is up and running in all these markets, it will be in six US jurisdictions.

In a trading update, 888 CEO Itai Pazner said:

“We are delighted to sign these agreements with three great partners — the Colorado Grande Casino, Catfish Bend Casino II LLC and Harrah’s Hoosier Park — that will enable 888 to bring its first-class, online sportsbook to bettors in Colorado, Iowa and Indiana. The US online betting and gaming market has huge growth potential, and we continue to build a strong platform for growth across both our B2B and B2C operations.”

Catfish Bend’s retail sportsbook will continue to bear PointsBet branding. Furthermore, 888Sport has provided no information on when it expects to start taking online bets in Iowa. The operator agreement still needs regulatory approval in the state.

That could come later this month. The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission will have a full agenda the next time it meets. IA casinos, such as Catfish Bend, have been busy.

New Year’s Day 2021 will change Iowa sports betting forever

Recently, Iowa casinos also made access deals with Bally’s, BetRivers and Vigtory sportsbooks. All these deals come into place just ahead of the expiration of the state’s in-person registration requirement for online wagering.

Starting Jan. 1, bettors in Iowa will be able to register new accounts for all IA sportsbooks completely online. That, combined with the national low tax rate of just 6.75%, makes the Hawkeye State suddenly attractive for operators.

This might be a good time for sportsbooks to launch in IA for other reasons. The University of Iowa men’s basketball team is enjoying the most hype it’s had in quite a while.

Additionally, the Iowa State University football team is currently ranked No. 9 in the media poll, a status it hasn’t enjoyed in decades. As there are no high-profile teams in the state outside of these college squads, the national notoriety could net a lot of handle.

Operator 888Sport wants to grab as much of that handle as possible. All these new operators could mean many new choices for IA sports bettors in 2021.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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