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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

In-person registration no longer required for Iowa sports betters

The change in the law that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021 was written into a bill that passed in 2019.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Starting Friday—Jan. 1, 2021—the same law that legalized sports betting in Iowa will no longer require in-person registration.

That means any Iowa resident, no matter where he or she lives, can download a sports betting app on their phone and place a wager immediately.

Before the new year, Iowans had to physically go inside a casino and register to bet in person

That is no longer the case.

Sports betters will still need to provide a name, address, phone number, email, birth date and last four digits of their Social Security number to register online. 

But the barrier to wager a bet on a football game or other sporting event will no longer be a physical one.

"Prior to January 1, 2021, an account must be established by an eligible individual in person with a licensee," the bill reads.

The sports betting industry in Iowa was given the green light in 2019, when the first bets were made inside Prairie Meadows Casino & Racetrack in Altoona.

RELATED: Prairie Meadows Casino extends smoking ban, other mitigation efforts

The coronavirus pandemic did not help the state's rollout of sports betting, as casinos were forced to temporarily shut down in order to slow the spread of the virus. 

In the summer, casinos reopened with restrictions. 

Gaming revenue was down dramatically in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Casinos lost more than half a billion dollars with lower foot traffic, and many events that pull in customers were also canceled.

Gaming Revenue Report (Adjusted Gross Revenue)

To view revenue specific to sports wagering in Iowa, click here