Caesars-Carousel Deal Will Likely Bring SportsBetting.com To Iowa

Written By Russ Mitchell on February 26, 2021 - Last Updated on March 2, 2021

It’s too early to set a 2021 over/under on the number of online sportsbooks in Iowa, but the number keeps growing. Soon, SportsBetting.com sportsbook will likely join the list.

Parent company Carousel Group announced an agreement that could usher SportsBetting.com into Iowa on Thursday. The group reached a 10-year, multi-state partnership with casino giant Caesars Entertainment.

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko anticipates SportsBetting.com will partner with one of Iowa’s four Caesars-affiliated casinos — Harrah’s and Horseshoe Council Bluffs as well as the Isle casinos in Bettendorf and Waterloo:

“I think it’s reasonable to assume that that they’ll be looking at our market via one of the two or three individually-branded websites that the four Caesars’ facilities have available.”

Next steps for SportsBetting.com

The pact would create a path for SportsBetting.com to enter legal sports betting states Iowa, Indiana and New Jersey.

Ohorilko confirmed the initial contact with the operator in a interview with PlayIA on Thursday:

“They asked questions with respect to the licensing process in Iowa — how much things would cost, how long it takes. So, we knew that there was some interest in the market, but we weren’t quite sure who their partner might be. But, we’ve obviously seen the reports that have come out (Thursday). I would imagine that they’ll be reaching out again and doing what they need to do to.”

PlayIA reached out to Carousel Group representatives and hopes to hear about its plans and timeline for its Iowa launch.

Eastward, ho! SportsBetting.com began in Colorado

The company’s Caesars partnership follows its launch in Colorado in September 2020. Carousel Group President and CEO Daniel Graetzer said in the press release:

“We closed out 2020 with the launch of SportsBetting.com in Colorado and we are thrilled to start 2021 with the announcement of our multi-state agreement with Caesars, a giant in the casino industry and the perfect strategic partner to help us aggressively expand our market access in the US.”

Carousel Group said the agreement will grow market access from $109 million to an estimated $1.8 billion nationally. Graetzer added:

“We look forward to working with both Caesars and the regulators to launch SportsBetting.com in New Jersey, Indiana and Iowa. We are also finalizing major updates to our products, including new mobile apps and a cutting-edge casino platform.

“Bettors continue to be more product savvy, which is why we built a user-centric tech company with full control over the user experience. Our design principles along with our in-house tech and operations will be the key to our long-term success.”

Iowa sports betting market continues to expand

Barring unforeseen developments, Iowa casinos will soon be allowed to partner with up to three individually-branded sportsbooks.

Beyond SportsBetting.com, several more sportsbooks are working their way through the Iowa licensing process. They include:

Iowa code calls for an initial $45,000 licensing fee each time a sportsbook wants to operate in the state.

In the regulated sports betting market, every operator must keep players’ accounts safe and secure. Furthermore, app and geolocation functions also must be certified by an independent lab.

Sportsbook operators must meet standards to address problem gambling, including self-exclusion.

Photo by Dreamstime.com
Russ Mitchell Avatar
Written by
Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

View all posts by Russ Mitchell