WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) Isle Casino Hotel Management opened its doors at noon Thursday to allow people to make some of the first bets in the state. They say a lot of planning went into navigating how their casino will operate betting.
"There is a lot of detail that really goes into opening these sportsbooks, not only with what you see here with the odds boards and betting machines, but everything that goes on behind the scenes," said Dan Shapiro, Vice President of Strategy Development with William Hill Sports Book.
Thursday's grand opening was the culmination of that work. Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson placed the first ceremonial bet and crowds followed soon after, placing their own bets.
"I just place a bet on tonight for the Packers to win so hopefully they win it and win the Super Bowl," said Alex Lynch.
So how does it work? Isle Casino Vice President Thomas Roberts says Iowans 21 or older have to come into the Casino with and ID and make an account
"They are going to get your name and everything, as well as a card, and the reason for that is because when you start looking to be able to online bet, we want to make sure it's you and not someone underage," said Roberts.
For online betting, the William Hill establishment has an app available on Androids and will soon have it on iPhones.
"It's very important to understand you have to put money into your account," he added. "If you want to bet $200 on a game, you are going to have $200 in your account."
There is no limit as to how much money can be put into your account, but he says there can be a limit on how much can be wagered on a bet, depending on the event.
"If you were to come in and say, I want to put a million dollars on Tiger Woods winning the Masters for next year, it might have to be discussed through William Hill," Roberts said.
People are required to come into the property to collect their winnings. If they are closed, people can go to the Casino gate, as long as their winning are less than $2,000.
Monitoring will be strict through surveillance, and he says in turn, so will handling gambling issues.
"We take them off the Casino floor, we talk to them about their options, and we tell them this is what you can and can't do," he said. "We are very adamant, and we want people here that should be here."
Casino officials say they are expecting 50 new jobs just with William Hill, and more revenue for the state.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, they can visit the National Council on Problem Gambling for help.