COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Sports gambling has been legal for nearly a month and casinos are starting to see its benefits financially.
According the Iowa Gaming Commission August report, there were $1.36 million worth of bets at the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs with Ameristar paying out $884,000 to bettors.
The Council Bluffs sports book brought in the highest on-site revenue in the state over its first month. A casino in the Des Moines area made more money but a lot of its revenue came from online betting. $32,000 from the Ameristar Council Bluffs location are going back to the state in taxes.
Casino administrators said the book has been a pleasant surprise for business.
"It's been good, it's been about as busy as we could've hoped it would be," said Paul Czak, the vice president and general manager at Ameristar Council Bluffs. "On Friday and Saturday, Sunday the room was full most of the time and we have folks who come in place their bets leave and return the next day. It's a good crowd and it's exciting for us."
Compared to the main games on a casino floor sports betting doesn't bring in huge numbers financially for a casino. The biggest winner from legalized sports betting at the casino is Ameristar's sports bar and grill where the sports book is located. Revenues are up more than double what they were in July.