Local ties highlight Iowa’s re-opening weekend

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The floodgates opened again this past week for bettors in Iowa, when on Jan. 1 the requirement for in-person registration to wager on sports lapsed in the state. New and established sportsbooks alike threw guaranteed betting promos at customers to entice them into maintaining their service or trying out a new app or three.

Tentpole games involving Iowa teams surged to the betting forefront over the weekend, with Iowa State’s Fiesta Bowl victory and cover over Oregon as the most bet-on college football game and promo opportunity at FanDuel, PointsBet and BetRivers. The latter saw 91% of money-line bets on the Cyclones in their 34-17 triumph.

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The lone outlier was at DraftKings, which has operated second behind William Hill properties in handle in the months preceding January’s quasi-relaunch. The Clemson-Ohio State College Football Playoff semifinal saw the largest handle on any contest in the state since October, according to a DraftKings spokesperson.

The top-five Iowa basketball team’s 77-75 road squeaker at Rutgers saw the most basketball action across all operators. And the late-window NFL matchups — a promo-heavy Green Bay-Chicago clash and the Sunday night closer between the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles — unsurprisingly carried the Sunday torch.

We won’t know how the festival of promotions has affected the immediate betting scene until mid-February, when the state’s casino properties are required to submit their January revenue figures to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. 

About the Author
Danny Lawhon

Danny Lawhon

Danny Lawhon is based in West Des Moines, Iowa, and has maintained a diverse sports journalism career for more than a decade, including with the Des Moines Register. A native of northwest Missouri, Danny earns his betting money as a professional musician.

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