Residents will soon be able to bet on professional sports, legally at Wild Rose Casino, including NBA games. BRANDON HURLEY | JEFFERSON HERALD

Wild Rose inks deal with Draft Kings

Casino eyes sports betting in time for NFL

By DOUGLAS BURNS

d.burns@carrollspaper.com

Jefferson’s casino expects to be able to take bets on sports in the early weeks of the NFL season — if not before, Wild Rose Jefferson General Manager Travis Dvorak said Tuesday.

Wild Rose has inked sports-wagering technology and management arrangements with Draft Kings and Rush Street Interactive that await state action today (Aug. 22) at an Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission meeting with an agenda loaded with sports-betting business across the Hawkeye State.

“We’re getting there, it’s going to move quickly,” Dvorak said. “Both Wild Rose and our vendor, Draft Kings, have a shared interest to get it up and running as soon as possible.”

Gamblers will have to register with a casino to bet on sports, but will be able to access wagering through their phones, iPads and computers with a Draft Kings app that is available now for Apple and Android and other platforms. 

Users can sign up for the apps, but have to activate them at the casino once gaming goes live. Legal online sports betting will have to take place within the state’s borders.

Dvorak, in an interview with The Jefferson Herald and in comments to the Greene County Development Corp. board of directors, said interest is running extremely high in sports betting, which the Legislature legalized for Iowa’s 19 state-regulated casinos in the spring just before it adjourned.

“I’ve been in this industry for 23 years, and this is probably the biggest deal that’s come out in those 23 years,” said Dvorak, 45. “Sports betting is something that people have been asking for for decades.”

Wild Rose Jefferson’s Coaches Corner restaurant and bar area is being remodeled to include betting windows and kiosks as well as odds boards. Computer sports-betting kiosks and odds boards will be located on the casino floor, too. Patrons will see more TVs at Wild Rose to accommodate sports gaming interest.

“We are also going to bring in some tables and chairs as well, but I think most of our customers will probably sit at a slot machine or a Black Jack table,” Dvorak said. “But we will have some tables and chairs for people who just want to sit and watch sports betting as well.”

Dvorak said he expects the football season to be big for Wild Rose.

“I think NFL and college are going to be our No. 1 and No. 2 most popular things to bet on,” Dvorak said. “No. 3 is probably college basketball.” 

Fantasy Sports betting, which Draft Kings is known for, is independent from the casinos. Draft Kings will manage the sports-betting allowed at the casinos.

“At the end of the day, we plan to have a great product for everybody who wants to bet on sports,” Dvorak said.

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