Gambit Sportsbook cleared its first hurdle on Thursday when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) approved access to the Iowa market. Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg asked for the partnership.
The Gambit Sportsbook model will require some collaboration with Iowa regulators. Language on Gambit’s website refers to “fund managers” who help you “invest” or “buy shares” in the sports outcome market.
Will Gambit’s Wall Street approach work in Iowa?
Gambit’s IRGC paperwork was filed ahead of corporate details and contact information online, but here’s an example of what their concept could look like. Customers might invest in a portfolio of:
- a 300-yard passing game by Aaron Rodgers,
- an 80-yard rushing day by Dalvin Cook and
- a 67-point total in the week’s Chiefs-Chargers game.
Shares increase with wins or winning trends and dip with losses or losing trends. Gambit Sportsbook gives customers the option to receive profits (or cut losses) daily, weekly or monthly.
But who is moving money around to maintain a customer’s portfolio? That’s an important question in Iowa because you can’t direct a fund manager (or anyone) to risk money on a sporting event for you. That’s an exclusive relationship you have with your sportsbooks. Iowa code requires sportsbooks to know the bettor is:
- over age 21
- in Iowa at the time of the bet
- not on self-exclusion lists
- and not involved in the outcome of the sporting event, like a coach, player, official or trainer.
So, Gambit will need to satisfy state regulations with IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko’s staff before the sportsbook goes live.
“It’s a type of product where it matches the gambler or the wager with a handicapper. So, essentially, customers can go and seek guidance from any expert that is listed on their website, pay a fee for those expert picks and then decide whether or not they would use those tips to make their wagers.”
Gambit Sportsbook wants to arrive in time for football
It’s important to note, the IRGC’s approval of the Gambit Sportsbook-Wild Rose Emmetsburg contract doesn’t authorize the sportsbook to go live. Ohorilko explains:
“The language they used on their website is really just more for show in that they’re keeping that language similar to Wall Street. When they use the term ‘fund manager,’ it’s an expert in the industry or a handicapper … the commission staff will take a closer look at it once the application gets submitted. The agreement is just kind of a prerequisite to submitting an application.”
Wild Rose representatives told the IRGC that Gambit will make Iowa its first state. The commission then applies “due diligence like we would with any other company,” Ohorilko added.
“(If) it’s simply a method or mechanism to match customers up with experts or handicappers, then that in itself would be OK. There would not be any issues with that at all.”
Gambit wants to be live in time for the 2022 football season.