First day for sports betting in Iowa casinos

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT)-- Sports gambling in Iowa is officially open Thursday and casinos in the state have been spending the time since it was given a thumbs up scrambling for the mechanics, equipment, and the space needed for opening day.

6 News was there as the first bet took place at the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs. Iowa Hawkeye All-American from the late 90’s, and 10-year NFL player, Tim Dwight will be placing the ceremonial first bet.

“It’s pretty cool to be an Iowa kid making an Iowa bet,” said Dwight.

Afterward, the window opens to the general public.

People from Kansas and Minneapolis came out because sports betting isn’t available to them, along with plenty of Nebraskans.

Paul Czak, general manager at Ameristar tells 6 News what people can bet on.

“People have asked from betting things to the NFL to middle school games. It’s a little ridiculous. You will be able to bet all the major sports, baseball, football, hockey, golf, tennis,” said Czak.

According to Ameristar, 70% of their business is from Nebraskans.

There are those like Husker legend, Tom Osborne who don’t think any of this is a good idea. He said some of his ugliest encounters with fans are over lost bets.

“People do what they have to do. I realize there is some illegal gambling now but when you legalize it, you give it the stamp of approval and make it seem as though this is what people ought to do,” said Osborne.

The mobile app will not be available until next summer, so you must be at the casino in person in order to bet.

Once the app is available, you also must be physically in Iowa in order to place a bet.