William Hill To Be Iowa’s 1st Sportsbook?
William Hill US, is the leading sportsbook operator with 100+ sportsbook in Nevada, New Jersey, The Bahamas, and West Virginia. Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino opened in 1989. The Altoona horse racing facility has more than 1,700 slot machines and gaming tables within 85K+ square feet of casino space.
Pending Iowa sports betting legislation and regulatory approvals, William Hill US will operate an 8,600 square foot sportsbook on the casino’s Level 4, near the property’s racing center. Construction of the sportsbook is included in the current Prairie Meadows renovation project.
“We are excited about the prospect of sports betting in Iowa and are thrilled to partner with Prairie Meadows to be ready for the day when sports betting is legal in the state. We are building a first-class sportsbook that will make Prairie Meadows the place to bet and watch the games,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US.
Brad Rhines, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer of Prairie Meadows added, “We are excited to expand our resort offerings with a fully renovated Clubhouse that includes both our racing center and new William Hill sports book. Once the legislative process is complete, this innovative partnership will provide many fun and unique sports betting options for our guests.”
— Mario Rossi (@mariovrossi) January 16, 2019
Iowa Sports Betting Setup
Taking action before sports betting legislation approval has become the norm in most states. In NY, 4 casinos have partnered DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Bet365 and Rush Interactive (SugarHouse) with NY sports betting pending approval. Tribal groups are making moves as well. Caesars Entertainment has recently partnered with the Oneida Nation in NY. With that said, expect to a DraftKings Iowa Sportsbook app available sometime in 2020.
It seems like there will not be many hurdles for legal sports betting in Iowa in 2019. Rep. Jake Highfill is very optimistic for approval once the bill appears in the current session of government in Iowa. The bill also has support from the Iowa Lottery. We highly doubt online sports betting will be part of the initial legislation.