By Daniel Bettridge | | 3 mins
FanDuel DFS Goes Live in Iowa, Giving DraftKings Competition
Competition for fantasy sports players in Iowa has arrived after FanDuel got the green light to launch its daily real money games.
FanDuel was granted its operating license by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Monday, according to a report in the Des Moines Register, before launching its service the next day. It joins rival DraftKings as DFS operators in Iowa.
“We are excited to announce that Iowans can now enter paid fantasy sports contests on FanDuel," a company spokeswoman told the Register. "Following approval by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, millions of residents in Iowa can now access all that FanDuel fantasy sports has to offer.”
Anyone interested in playing can visit the FanDuel website or download its mobile app for iOS or Android. However bettors will only be able to play based on professional games. A provision in the Iowa sports gambling bill passed by the state legislature this spring prohibits collegiate daily fantasy sports contests until May 1, 2020.
All systems go for fantasy betting
FanDuel’s arrival comes just three weeks after competitor DraftKings launched in Iowa and offered fantasy wagering in the state.
“In time for the Week 8 games of NFL season and NBA tipoff, DraftKings is thrilled to show the Hawkeye State why we have been able to establish ourselves as a premier destination for sports fans who want skin in the game,” Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and co-founder at DraftKings, said in a news release. “We are excited to offer Iowans our daily fantasy products.”
The arrival of the two fantasy giants comes after repeated delays that had moved back their launches. Though sports betting has been legal in the state since the summer, operators like FanDuel and DraftKings have been negotiating with the Iowa Racing and Gambling Commission to get the go-ahead to begin.
The delays have centered on disagreements surrounding the state’s rules, specifically the technological requirements that have made it difficult for the daily fantasy providers to meet Iowa’s compliance standards.
More options on the horizon
Daily fantasy players may soon have a third option with the reported arrival of Yahoo Sports on the horizon, though it seems the company is well behind the competition.
“They have submitted an application, however, they have not submitted any other controls or processes demonstrating compliance with Iowa DFS laws or regulations,” Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Administrator Brian Ohorilko told bookies.com last month. “That timeline would be up to that company.”