Smarkets partners with Affinity Interactive to launch Iowa sportsbook

By Gambling Insider

Smarkets will launch its sports betting app in Iowa over the coming months, with the gambling exchange partnering with Affinity Interactive to power the platform. 

SBK, launched by Smarkets in 2019, is already live in Colorado and is expected to launch in Indiana later this year, prior to the sportsbook's unveiling in Iowa. 

Smarkets CEO & Founder Jason Trost commented: “I’m incredibly excited about this deal. The potential for SBK is huge in America, so adding our third licensed state is key as we move to our next stage of growth. 

“It is particularly meaningful for me as my family is from Iowa, so I have always wanted the opportunity to launch there. I can’t wait for bettors in Iowa to enjoy SBK’s market-leading odds.” 

Affinity Interactive has a significant presence in Iowa, as well as Missouri and Nevada. The operator and technology supplier owns eight casinos, as well as an online betting platform for sports betting and iGaming. 

Affinity Interactive CEO Mary Beth Higgins said: “We are pleased to help Smarkets add SBK to another US marketplace and look forward to welcoming them to Iowa.” 

Sports betting was legalised in Iowa in 2019, while total wagers surpassed the $2bn mark in 2021.  

Despite the state of Iowa having no professional sports teams, it has become one of the most lucrative per-capita markets across the US. More than a dozen operators, including Bally’s Corporation, BetMGM, BetRivers and Caesars Sportsbook are active in the state.

One reason behind such a high number of sportsbook operators, as well as the success of sports betting in Iowa, is perhaps the low licensing fees on offer to gambling companies.  

The state requires a $45,000 fee to obtain a licence, with a $10,000 annual renewal fee. 

Compare this to New York, where state law requires the nine licensees to pay $5m annually.

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