Sports fans flock to Prairie Meadows to gamble

Local News

ALTOONA — It was an exciting day at Prairie Meadows for the first legal day of sports betting in Iowa. Local 5’s Matthew Judy spoke with people who are ready to place their bets.

“As you can see by the number of people here today, it’s very important for a number of people.”

You can take Terry Eaton’s word for it, he’s been going to Prairie Meadows since the day it opened.

“I must say today is a lot nicer than day one in 1989. It was cold, it was snowing, it was hard to see the races.”

That wouldn’t be a problem these days, with more than 50 flat screens to watch all the action. A little piece of Vegas, right here in our own backyard.

“It’s fun to go off to Vegas and put some bets down, but then you have to mail in your ticket and you’re going to have quite a bit of difference when you come here and cash out,” says sports bettor Ryan Moffitt

William Hill CEO Joe Asher is confident about sports betting in Iowa as a whole, but especially about the Iowa vs. Iowa State rivalry.

“There’s such a passion around sports in Iowa. There’s no doubt sports betting is going to be successful in Iowa. I think it’s pretty obvious.”

Senator Jack Whitver even got in on the fun.

“I did pick Iowa State over Iowa in the Cy-Hawk game.”

I’m sure that won’t ruffle any feathers. Just remember Senator, the house always wins.

Now that it is legal, you will be allowed to place sports bets online and on your smartphone. However, only four casinos have the infrastructure up and running for mobile betting right now.

You have to be at least 21 years old to place any kind of bet in Iowa.

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