Contract Change Means Caesars Sportsbook Will Share Throne At Prairie Meadows Casino

Written By Russ Mitchell on August 31, 2021

Caesars Sportsbook still rules at Prairie Meadows Casino, but as of Thursday, there may be more contenders on the throne.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) approved an amended contract between Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino and the Caesars sports betting app.

The new agreement will allow Prairie Meadows to partner with up to three online sportsbooks, according to IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko:

“It’s simply an amendment to the current agreement. It did call for some rebranding from William Hill to Caesars Sportsbook. And then there were some other provisions within that contract that were negotiated.”

Caesars had a nearly exclusive agreement with the central Iowa casino during its William Hill era. It’s common for casinos to bring new sportsbook contracts to the IRGC when there are changes including new stakeholders, new platforms or a rebrand. But, the freedom to add online sportsbook options, or “skins,” is contract change for the casino near Des Moines.

Ohorilko said:

“Prairie Meadows is able to entertain multiple ‘skins’ now, pursuant to this adjustment. It was really kind of a redesign.”

Caesars, Prairie Meadows lead sports betting in Iowa

Caesars and the Altoona casino are changing a formidable partnership.

No casino brings in more Iowa sports betting money than Prairie Meadows, as Caesars Sportsbook was the leader in July handle.

Caesars is partners with six casinos since the launch of sports betting in Iowa. This retail presence helped leverage its dominance in the state.

Iowa code currently allows its casinos to have three individually branded online sportsbooks partnerships. The count increased from two to three for casinos in February. The IRGC submitted the rule change to the Legislative Rules Committee to streamline the third sportsbook process for casinos in the fall of 2020.

The Iowa code calls for an initial $45,000 licensing fee each time a sportsbook wants to operate in the state. If Iowa’s 19 casinos all chose to carry three distinct sportsbook brands, bettors in Iowa would have 57 options.

You no longer have to visit a brick-and-mortar casino to sign up for their favorite Iowa sports betting apps. Remote registration became legal in Iowa at the start of 2021.

Photo by Conrad Schmidt / AP
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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.

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