The list of states without fantasy sports sites shrank by one on Friday with the launch of DraftKings in Iowa. For the first time ever, Hawkeye State residents can visit DraftKings.com to participate in the world’s largest fantasy contests.
Sports fans can head to DraftKings.com or download the mobile app for iOS/Android devices to sign up for an account today and enter real money constests. Customers must be 21 or older to participate in fantasy contests in Iowa.
Iowa residents will be limited to contests involving professional sports for now. Under Iowa law, fantasy sites are prohibited from offering contests involving college games until May 1st, 2020.
“In time for the Week 8 games of NFL season and NBA tipoff, DraftKings is thrilled to show The Hawkeye State why we have been able to establish ourselves as a premier destination for sports fans who want skin in the game,” said DraftKings cofounder Matt Kalish. “We are excited to offer Iowans our daily fantasy products, featuring the larges prize pools you’ll find anywhere in the world.”
DraftKings Iowa Launch Delayed; FanDuel Likely Up Next
The launch of DraftKings in Iowa was anticipated well in advance of Friday’s announcement. The Iowa legislature approved a bill legalizing fantasy sports and sports betting back in May, and Governor Kim Reynolds signed it into law the following month.
After the bill became law, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) spent the next month drawing up regulations to govern daily fantasy and sports betting. Those rules were approved in July and the first sportsbooks launched in August.
Daily fantasy moved at a slower pace due to disagreements between the country’s two largest fantasy providers (DraftKings and FanDuel) and the IRGC. Those differences were resolved this month and the Commission formally awarded its first daily fantasy license to DraftKings on Thursday.
Look for FanDuel to follow suit shortly. IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko told iGB North America that the state is considering “at least” one more fantasy operator for a license. Ohorilko did not name the other provider, but the smart money is on FanDuel coming next to Iowa.
DraftKings Sportsbooks Also Open in Iowa
DraftKings is now fully engaged in Iowa following its launch of daily fantasy today. Earlier this month, DraftKings opened retail sportsbooks at each of the three Wild Rose Resorts in Jefferson, Emmetsburg and Clinton.
In a press release announcing the opening of its three Iowa sportsbooks, DraftKings also noted it has plans in place to commence mobile betting for customers 21 and older.
A provision in Iowa law requires all customers to register their accounts in-person at one of the casinos, but that provision will expire on January 1st, 2021. After that, sports fans will be able to sign up and bet from anywhere within state boundaries.