Iowa’s Tribal Casinos Facing Delays Due to Coronavirus

Iowa’s Tribal Casinos Facing Delays Due to Coronavirus

The state of Iowa expected two tribal casinos to start offering sports betting to the punters but its dreams are being pushed farther behind because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

State faces issues

The sports betting scene started heating up ever since it was launched in August last year after Governor Kim Reynolds signed a sports betting bill. The activity had been generating millions in revenue until this month when the industry came to a standstill. Most major sporting events around the world have been canceled and sportsbook operators are stunned with the sheer lack of playing options. Some operators have gone so far ahead as to ask their users to shift to online casinos or bet on obscure sporting events like Belarussian football.

Iowa’s Tribal Casinos Facing Delays Due to Coronavirus

In Iowa specially, the problem is with two tribal casinos that are yet to open their sportsbooks, namely, WinnaVegas and Blackbird Bend. The two casinos have constantly faced roadblocks in launching their sports betting offerings. Note that commercial and tribal casinos have to go through different processes to launch their sportsbooks. While commercial casinos only have to deal with the regulated sports betting market rules to start a business, the tribal casinos have to ensure that they honor their tribal gaming compacts as well.

Consistent issues

The Omaha Tribe’s Blackbird Bend and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s WinnaVegas have faced multiple delays in their sports betting offerings. They originally planned to start offering their sportsbook services during the NFL  2019 season. They later shifted the timeline to early 2020 but now it seems out of questions. The long-term shutdowns, quarantines, and cancellations of major collegiate and professional sporting events are hurting their prospects.

The casinos in the state have been closed for at least two weeks. Reopenings are possible in April but it would depend on how the issue pans out in the state. The Blackbird Bend casino suggested that the delay in their sports betting lounge could be increased because of additional legal review of contracts.

The casino’s spokesman Mike Kyrsl said,

“It is still in the works, pending additional legal review of the contracts associated with that additional business venture. The current suspension of professional and college sports and all of the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has evoked gives us further pause in the process, of making sure we develop the best possible sports betting options for our guests.”

Both tribal casinos will continue to discuss the launch of their sportsbook offerings.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.