Prairie Meadows is getting sidelined from the profits linked with new customers who place sports bets, Garrick Mallory, an assistant director for the casino, told Axios.
- It's in part due to a provision in a 2019 Iowa law that states sports betting this year does not require in-person sign-ups.
Why it matters: Out-of-state gaming operators get a larger share of the revenue, which is siphoned from the nonprofit Altoona casino, Mallory said.
- Local governments and dozens of charities depend on Prairie Meadows' revenue for everything from making debt payments on Wells Fargo Arena to expanding Blank Children’s Hospital programs.
State of play: Sports betting began in Iowa two years ago.
- Prior to Jan. 1, betters were required to activate their accounts in person at a casino like Prairie Meadows that had an agreement with a sportsbook operator.
What's happening: New accounts can now be opened remotely and — unless a user enters a promo code — their hometown casino may not get credited to share the profits, Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission director Brian Ohorilko told Axios.
- Gaming taxes are still paid, he said.
Of note: Caesars Sportsbook, the operator of Prairie Meadows' sports bets, did not respond to our multiple requests for comment last week.
The bottom line: Prairie Meadows doesn't know how much money it's losing because there's no way to track how many new users would have signed up through its casino, Mallory said.
- The casino recommends entering the promo code "PMRF" if you're using a sportsbook app.
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