William Hill Clinches Betting Partnership with Iowa’s Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino

William Hill is all prepped to explore another nascent sports betting market, should the activity become legal in Iowa

British bookmaker William Hill announced on Wednesday that it has penned an agreement with Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino to become the property’s exclusive sports betting operator, when and if the Iowa Legislature legalizes the practice.

Should that happen, William Hill and Prairie Meadows will jointly develop a sportsbook at the gambling property to offer visitors the opportunity to wager on various sports.

Under the terms of the recently signed partnership agreement, William Hill and the casino and racetrack venue will develop an 8,600-square-foot sportsbook on the casino’s fourth level, not far from the racing center. The sports betting area will feature a “state-of-the-art video wall technology” that will air different sporting events, and a new bar.

Prairie Meadows opened doors in Altoona, Iowa in 1989. The property features 1,700 slot machines, a number of table games, live and simulcast racing, a hotel, and entertainment facilities, among others.

Commenting on their latest partnership, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said that they are excited about “the prospect of sports betting in Iowa” and that aim to develop a premium destination for bettors.

The new sportsbook will be part of a larger renovation project at Prairie Meadows. The property is undergoing renovation of its Clubhouse which includes its racing center and is to include its William Hill-branded sportsbook.

Betting in Iowa

Sports betting is currently illegal in the state of Iowa. A dedicated legislation was introduced last year right ahead the strikedown of the long-standing federal ban on wagering by the US Supreme Court. The piece allowed for the legalization of betting on professional and collegiate sports.

It also tasked the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission with the regulation of the sports betting market. Under the bill, interested operators would have had to pay a $25,000 licensing fee and to contribute 17% of their revenue to the state. The piece of legislation failed to gain enough traction in the Legislature, though.

However, its sponsor, Rep. Jake Highfill, has said that the Iowa Legislature will certainly discuss the possibility to legalize sports betting during this year’s legislative session. Other lawmakers have, too, pointed out that sports betting could be legalized this year as more and more states are looking to get involved in this lucrative field.

It is believed that if a legislative piece on sports betting is introduced, it will likely call for the legalization of in-person sports betting only. So far, only a handful of states are offering digital betting, including New Jersey, West Virginia, and Nevada.

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