Local casino reacts to Iowa Governor legalizing sports betting

Sioux Falls, S.D. - Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Monday that will allow sports books at casinos in Iowa.

While people in Iowa will soon be able to legally put money on sporting events, sports betting is not legal in South Dakota, but with the Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort just a few minutes away, many will most likely head over the border to place their bets.

“[We are] Very anxious to get things moving so that we an officially have a sports book here,” Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort General Manager Sharon Haselhoff said.

Casinos throughout Iowa are in planning mode as the first official steps in making sports betting in Iowa a reality, are moving forward.

“We will be submitting some plans to the Racing and Gaming Commission at the next commission meeting and then we will probably be doing some construction here on our gaming floor to kind of fine tune our location of our sports book,” Haselhoff said.

Last year, A U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 1992 federal law that outlawed sports betting in most states.

Under the new bill that Gov. Reynolds signed, people can bet on pro and college athletics as well as fantasy sports.

But, they won’t be able to place bets on what’s known as "in-game bets". Those are commonly things like whether or not a player will score a certain amount of points.

“A lot of our customers have asked when it is going to happen,” Haselhoff said. “So they are really excited about the opportunity to bet on their favorite team.”

People like Steve Artz.

He’s from Hull Iowa and echoes what many are saying. This move by Reynolds, brings sports betting from the underground market, which he said will have positive impacts for the state.

“It’s ok,” Artz said. “If you want to do it you can. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. If you want to gamble, you'll gamble and if you want to bet, you'll bet somewhere.

Artz said at least now, people will be betting legally.

He also said it adds a bit more fun to sports.

“It gives you some reason to watch them now instead of watching for nothing,” Artz said.

People will also have the ability to bet from their phones, but they have to visit the casino in person to set up an account.

The app only works within Iowa’s boundaries so people would have to travel to the state to place their bets.

Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort is hoping to start offering sports betting at their facility beginning in August after the gaming association develops rules.

Sports betting will be for those who are over the age of 21.