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Diamond Jo Casino prepares to kick off sports gambling

NORTHWOOD, Iowa (FOX 47) – Iowa is now the 11th state in the country to allow sports betting.

Today at noon, casinos began to take bets on professional, collegiate and international sporting events.

This is expected to bring tourism to border casinos such as Diamond Jo in Northwood. Iowa also allows for wagering when it comes to fantasy sports leagues.

They are the first Midwest state to allow sports betting, this coming after Governor Kim Reynolds signed a measure back in May.

Only a handful of Iowa’s 19 casinos kicked off wagering today.  Many, such as Diamond Jo, are still going through their construction and approval stages, but promise to be taking bets by the end of August, just in time for football season.

Casino operators will be required to pay back 6.75 percent of tax revenue to the state, an estimated total of between 2 to 4 million dollars a year.

“The good thing about it is it takes something that’s been happening on the black market forever and brings it out in the public light and now being regulated,” said Scott Smith, general manager of Diamond Jo Casino. “I think it makes people feel more comfortable taking part in this.”

Smith advises people to have fun and start simple, betting on individual games using small amounts and never wagering outside of your means.

Diamond Jo Casino has partnered with Fan Duel and the staff is excited about the new offering, despite having to learn new rules and software.

You must be 21 to gamble in Iowa and those who want to participate in mobile gambling must first go to a brick-and-mortar casino to sign up.

Alex Tejada

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