BETTENDORF, Iowa-- Iowans and visitors to the Hawkeyes state are just a few weeks away from placing their first bets on professional and college sports.
People can start betting on games and some fantasy sports starting August 15.
The Isle Casino in Bettendorf is getting ready, building the William Hill Sports Book at the Isle Casino.
"We'll have about odds monitors that people will be able to view what the odds are in the various, different games or the sports being offered," Isle Casino General Manager Nancy Ballenger says. "And then we have 65-inch TVs where you'll be able to view things."
To place a bet, you'll have to visit a licensed casino, like the Isle, in Iowa. You have to be at least 21-years-old. You can either make your bets in person or sign up for a mobile account. Then you can place bets anywhere in Iowa from an app on your phone. The app uses geofencing to ensure bets are placed from inside state lines.
Industry leaders hope this will be a draw for casinos.
"It becomes a social event," says Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill Sports Book. "And you sit around and watch the game with your group. It definitely brings energy to the property, without a doubt."
Under Iowa law, casinos pay a $45,000 license fee to get started with sports betting, followed by annual renewals. There's also a 6.75 percent tax on the house's revenues.
"I think there are people that are just passionate about sports," Ballenger says. "It's probably happening in some basements and some restaurants, and to be able to come into the casino and have a different experience and to bet on the sport legally will be something really exciting for the state."
The Isle Casino will have a kick-off for sports betting on August 15 at noon.
Illinois also legalized sports betting this year but doesn't have a timeline for implementation.