Iowa Is First In Betfred’s New Wave Of Sports Betting Expansion

Written By Derek Helling on February 6, 2020 - Last Updated on March 4, 2021

Iowa is first in the nation in terms of presidential nominating contests. Another company that sees Iowa as primary is the Betfred sportsbook.

Betfred has already opened its brick-and-mortar sportsbook in the Hawkeye State. It plans to launch its online component for bettors in Iowa later this month, as well.

Betfred sportsbook picks ideal location for bettors

While sports betting is legal in Iowa, it is currently an island amid its neighbors in that regard. In Minnesota and South Dakota, for example, wagering on sporting events remains illegal.

That’s an ideal situation for Iowa’s new sportsbook. The Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood sits right on the border with South Dakota and is only about three miles from the Minnesota state line.

Residents of the three states can now visit the casino and place their bets. The draw for everyone, especially out-of-state bettors, should increase later this month because of one big coming attraction.

The best is yet to come at Iowa’s newest sportsbook

Betfred plans to launch its online sportsbook in Iowa later this month. The only downside to that situation is Iowa’s in-person registration requirement.

Before people can place bets online with Betfred, or any other Iowa sportsbook, they have to visit the retail version and complete the process of registering for the online book. Although it can act as a security measure, it was essentially a concession to the casinos in the law.

The good news is that the requirement expires on New Year’s Day 2021. Betfred has plans for its online product before then, however.

The next big sporting event for bettors is the NCAA D1 basketball championship tournaments. There should be plenty of attention to those tourneys around and in Iowa this year.

March Madness is a great opportunity for sportsbooks

This year the men’s and women’s basketball teams at the University of Iowa are on track to qualify for their respective tournaments. As a matter of fact, the Hawkeye women are one of the tournament selection committee’s top 16 initial seeds.

The University of South Dakota women’s team is having a great season, as well. While Iowa’s few online sportsbooks don’t offer action on women’s college games right now, that should change closer to tournament time.

Fortunately for Betfred, it plans to have its online sportsbook up and running in Iowa by then. That allows the brand to use March Madness as a promotional event.

While Betfred has big plans for Iowa, that’s just part of an even grander design. Iowa is the first of four states the brand has in its sights.

Betfred is invading the US sports betting market

United Kingdom-based Betfred is also moving forward in Colorado, Pennsylvania and another state yet to be determined this year. The question is, then, why start with Iowa?

Iowa has no franchises in the big four North American sports leagues. In comparison with Pennsylvania, its population is small and sparse.

The market makes up for those disadvantages with a nation-low tax rate for sportsbooks. The fees to enter the market are also much lower than those in other states.

There are also just three current online sportsbooks in the state. That means grabbing a share of the market should be easier than it is in other states.

Because of those qualities, Betfred has begun in Iowa. If the brand is successful in the United States, the Hawkeye State will have played a pivotal role.

Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Derek Helling