William Hill Announces Additional Sportsbook Sites for Iowa as State Gaming Officials Push to Launch in August

Posted on: July 16, 2019, 11:14h. 

Last updated on: July 16, 2019, 11:14h.

William Hill announced on Tuesday it will serve as the sportsbook for two more casinos in Iowa as state officials work to pass regulations that will allow casinos to offer sports betting.

A gambler places a wager at William Hill’s sportsbook at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. The gaming company has announced plans to open four sportsbooks in Iowa as that state gets ready to offer sports betting later this year. (Image: NJ1015.com)

In a statement, the bookmaker said it will extend its partnership with Eldorado Resorts Inc. to manage the sportsbooks for the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo and the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf. The arrangement also includes providing bettors with access to William Hill’s mobile app.

The deal with the two companies dates to 2012 when William Hill began operating sportsbooks in Eldorado’s Nevada properties. Since then, William Hill has opened sportsbooks at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia; the Tropicana Atlantic City in New Jersey; and the Lady Luck Casino, Isle of Capri, and the Tropicana in Mississippi.

The announcement comes as Eldorado seeks a merger with Caesars Entertainment.

We are thrilled to build on our already extensive relationship with Eldorado Resorts as the sports betting industry continues to gain momentum,” said David Grolman, the president of retail operations for William Hill US in a statement. “As a growth-fueled company, they have taken monumental steps to become leaders in the gaming industry.”

In January, William Hill announced it would serve as the sportsbook for Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Work on the 8,600-square-foot sportsbook is already finished at the Altoona track, with the area serving as the track’s simulcasting center.

William Hill said it plans to hire more than 50 people for its Iowa sportsbooks. In addition to positions at Prairie Meadows and the Eldorado casinos, the global gaming company is also looking for a sportsbook manager at the Lakeside Hotel Casino in Osceola, another Iowa casino with which it has partnered.

Other Agreements in Place

Besides William Hill, other sportsbooks have already established relationships with Iowa casinos.

In April, PointsBet announced it would open its first retail sportsbook at the Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington. Last month, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City announced plans for an $895,000 renovation to add a sportsbook near its high-limits gaming section.

Also last month, the Iowa Gaming and Racing Commission (IGRC) approved a contract for Bally Gaming to serve as the sportsbook for the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, and it also the request by Elite Casino Resorts to have Betworks manage its sports betting operations at its three casinos in the state.

Sports Betting By August?

Like Indiana, Iowa released its draft sports betting regulations at the beginning of the month. Last week, the IRGC held a hearing where it took testimony. Public comments are also be taken via email at irgcrules@iowa.gov.

Iowa Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko has advised the commission that they will likely be called for a special meeting on July 30 to pass the regulations. The commission’s Web site shows a meeting scheduled for that day in West Des Moines. However, no agenda has been set for it.

At an IRGC meeting last month, Ohorilko told the members that industry leaders have requested the sportsbooks be operational in August. He noted that was an aggressive timeline, but the state was working within reason to accomplish that goal.