Sports fans in Sioux Falls can now place bets on their favorite team as long as they make a short drive.
An online gambling service from Grand Falls Casino went live Friday, and the casino floor is set to add an in-house sportsbook this weekend.
Iowa lawmakers legalized sports betting earlier this year and Grand Falls was one of a number of casinos that jumped at the opportunity to open sportsbooks, then quickly announced a massive $10 million expansion centered around a new sports gambling area.
Grand Falls: Grand Falls Casino plans to offer sports betting if Iowa legalizes it
Located right at the Iowa-South Dakota border, Grand Falls is the closest option for Sioux Falls residents who want to make a nine-inning MLB game a little more interesting or put some money on their favorite NFL team to win the Superbowl.
“I think people will really like the ease of that site,” said Sharon Haselhoff, general manager for Grand Falls.
ONLINE BETTING SERVICE UP AND RUNNING
Grand Falls’ online sports betting service is already live and taking bets at elitesportsbook.com.
Elite Sportsbook is operated by Grand Falls with technology from Bet.Works, a Las Vegas-based firm offering mobile and web-based sports gambling tools.
Bettors can make a variety of different wagers on professional and college sports from their phone or computer, as long as they have an internet connection, a device and are currently in Iowa.
Casino officials and site operators have set up geolocation services to ensure users are within state borders before they wager.
“People do have to be in Iowa to make their bets,” Haselhoff said.
Contributed by Grand Falls
IN-HOUSE SPORTSBOOK DELAYED, BUT SET TO OPEN SATURDAY
Grand Falls leadership expected to unveil the casino’s in-house sportsbook earlier this month, but the United Kingdom-based contractor they hired to run it was late to apply for a license.
Until this week, Betfred Sports had not applied for its sports wagering license from Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Casino-goers won’t have to wait for Betfred to get approved.
Grand Falls staff plan to open a temporary in-house sportsbook Saturday through Elite Sportsbook, allowing people on the casino floor to make NFL futures bets ahead of the 2019 season. Bettors will be able wager on games in the casino’s VIP area, between the poker and high-stakes rooms.
The U.K. firm sent in its application Tuesday, Haselhoff said. Grand Falls leadership is looking forward to the partnership, but the approval process could take a couple of months.
Since it’s already authorized to take sports bets, including for its online service, Grand Casino doesn’t have to wait for Betfred to open an in-house sportsbook Tina Eick, director of operations for the Gaming Commission.
“They would be one option,” Eick said. “Certainly, the facility has the option to be licensed through themselves.”