With Online Registration Looming, BetRivers Makes Appearance In Iowa

Posted on November 30, 2020 - Last Updated on December 30, 2020

There’s a lot that is unknown about what the Iowa sports betting market will look like when the in-person registration requirement expires on New Year’s Day 2021.

Among those unknowns is how soon the landscape will include BetRivers Iowa sportsbook.

The Rush Street Interactive (RSI) product has recently done what appears to be a soft launch in the Hawkeye State. It’s unclear when the product will launch for IA sports bettors fully.

Details scant on the BetRivers Iowa sportsbook

BetRivers could soon start taking online bets from Iowa residents and visitors. However, there’s no telling when that will happen.

The website is live and displaying odds; however, it’s not clear if IA bettors can register for and place bets on the site.

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For the rest of the year, IA bettors must register for online sportsbooks at the brands’ retail partners. BetRivers has no brick-and-mortar sportsbook in the Hawkeye State.

RSI has an operator agreement with the Wild Rose casinos in Clinton and Jefferson. Both of the retail books at those properties are DraftKings-branded.

Therefore, the most likely scenario is that BetRivers won’t fully launch in IA until Jan. 1, at the earliest. At that point, all bettors in Iowa will be able to register for the sportsbook completely over the internet.

If that’s what RSI is shooting for, it won’t be alone. Other brands seem poised to make a push into IA after the face-to-face sign-up mandate sunsets.

New Year’s Day 2021 a new day for IA sports betting

Recently, Bally’s and Vigtory have both made moves to secure market access in Iowa. Despite its sparse population, IA has a few points that make it attractive after in-person registration expires.

For one thing, it borders five states that won’t offer online sports betting in January. Additionally, it offers a national low tax rate of just 6.75% on aggregate revenue.

The expiration of the face-to-face registration mandate also means a kind of reset for the market. William Hill has been the dominant operator in the state so far, but that could be attributed to its robust retail presence.

With all bettors in the state able to register for all operators from anywhere within the state borders soon, it’s a good time for BetRivers to try its luck at gaining market share in Iowa. It’s just not certain when the sportsbook will start vying for that top spot yet.

Photo by Mike Roemer / AP
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. 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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