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Restaurant chain partners with Vegas casino for sports betting, but Iowa locations prohibited from being sign-up spots

MASON CITY — Buffalo Wild Wings last week announced a deal with MGM Resorts to bring MGM sports betting into their restaurants in states where sports betting is legal, but Iowa gambling regulators say you won’t be able to go into the restaurants here and sign up for sports gambling accounts.

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Brian Ohorilko says the only way to sit down to eat wings and gamble is to have a mobile sports betting app through one of the state’s licensed casinos.  “Iowa law strictly limits sports wagering to casinos that have a gaming license, and so wagering inside a retail setting would be limited to those facilities. Wagering is also permitted under Iowa law through mobile wagering devices, and so folks could access their phone or other mobile device from anywhere within the boundaries of the state of Iowa, but with respect to any other entity offering sports wagering, that could not occur under the current laws of Iowa.”

Ohorilko says right now there are only two companies licensed in the state of Iowa allowed to offer advanced deposit sports wagering through mobile apps.   “Those two companies are signing up customers in seven locations throughout the state of Iowa. Those locations as required by Iowa law are the casino locations. At any of those seven locations if a customer were to sign up, get the application that they need, and the account through any of the two licensed companies, than those customers could wager on their device from a Buffalo Wild Wings or from any other restaurant or location.”

Sunday will mark one month since sports gambling was legalized in the state of Iowa.

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