After recently launching sports betting, Iowa hopes to give final authorization of DraftKings and FanDuel to begin offering DFS as early as next week.
Daily fantasy sports are currently enjoyed by players in 40 states. For sportsbetting, it’s a different story. Even though significant progress has been made in regulation during the last year, only 13 states have some form of legalized sports betting. Only Nevada had legal sports betting two years ago.
In Iowa, the state has bucked the trend — they have authorized legal sports betting but daily fantasy sports have not yet been given the same distinction. There is a strong push to change that soon, however, and it could be happening this month, which will allow daily fantasy sports sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel to finally open up to Iowa.
Brian Ohoriko from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has signaled to Legal Sports Report that the two biggest DFS sites could be opening up to Iowans as soon as next week.
Iowa is just one of the ten states where users can not play DFS. Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington are the others. Most of those states — except for Nevada and Iowa — do not have legal sports betting.
But to allow the more controversial sports betting industry but not yet authorize daily fantasy sports is indeed unique, but it seems to be related to stiffer testing standards.
Iowa’s casinos received fast approvals to open up sportsbooks, as Iowa followed the model applied in other states. DFS has been another story, with rules and regulations being more strict in Iowa compared to other states.
For example, DraftKings and FanDuel’s equipment and systems are required to be tested by an independent testing lab, causing some of the delays. The final step appears to be just around the corner as “change control” processes — which log updates and changes to equipment and systems — need to be approved before a final go-ahead is given.
For Iowas hoping to play daily fantasy sometime this during 2019, that could mean they could be playing DFS contests with at last a couple of months to go in the NFL season.