Before the governor of Iowa signs a bill to legalize sports gambling, one casino in Iowa is building a sportsbook. The casino is anticipating that sports gambling will become legal in the state. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May states had the right to choose for themselves whether to legalize sports gambling. Since then, nine states have legalized it. The Iowa legislature recently passed a bill that legalizes sports gambling, but the governor has not signed it. If Iowa can pass the sports gambling bill, it would be the first Midwestern state to have a legal sportsbook. All the other states that have legalized gambling are in the South or along the Eastern Seaboard.
Gambling in Iowa
In addition to the recent passage of the sports gambling bill, the General Assembly has also considered legalizing online gambling. Some legislators tried to put online gambling into the sportsbook legislation. However, they were unable to get enough votes.
The Racing and Gaming Commission controls gambling in Iowa. Iowa currently has charitable gaming, a state lottery within a multistate lottery system, and casino gambling. In addition, Iowa has tribal gaming. Native Americans in the state own casinos and bingo halls.
The New Sportsbook Plan
Iowa is anticipating the sportsbook bill will become law. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has been in talks with a contractor to build a sportsbook. The home of the sportsbook will be the Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington. The commission awarded the contract to a Minnesota company, Design Wise. Design Wise, which has experience in sports gambling, is looking to expand into Iowa.
The commission also contracted with a New Jersey company to operate the sportsbook. Its choice of companies is interesting given the recent focus on online gambling in the state. PointsBet LLC received the right to operate the sportsbook in Iowa if the governor signs the bill. PointsBet operates an online casino in the Garden State. There has been speculation the commission decided to go with PointsBet because it has online casino experience. So, if Iowa does legalize online betting, it’ll already have an agreement with a company in the online gambling market.
Catfish Bend Casino in Davenport is next to a large waterpark that markets to families. The casino bills itself as a complete entertainment center. The casino itself has more than 600 slot machines, 25 table games, a live poker room, and a VIP lounge. The slot machines have proven very popular for the casino. They offer several varieties of slot games, including video slots, multiline slots, and progressive slots.
Some of the most popular slots at Catfish Bend are novelty slots. Novelty slots usually have a theme. They are usually video slot machines that look more like video games. Examples of novelty video slots include Blake Shelton, Michael Jackson Legend, Wonder Woman Gold, and Wheel of Fortune.
Catfish Bend also has several types of card games. Mississippi Stud has proven to be very popular. Match ’Em Hi-Lo, another small-hand card game, is also popular. The casino also offers several forms of blackjack, including a free bet blackjack game and a multiple hand blackjack game. Catfish Bend has a roulette table as well. Many forms of poker are available in the live poker room. Poker games include Texas Hold ’Em, Four Card Stud, and Pai Gow Poker. Catfish Bend also has an active craps table.
Catfish Bend markets itself as a place where families can stay and play. They can have fun in the waterpark or on the golf course. While the kids play, the casino hopes the adults take some time out to try their luck at gambling. The casino has been profitable, although it is one of the smaller casinos in the state. So far, this fiscal year, the casino has taken in more than $200 million in table and slots revenue.
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