Blackbird Bend Casino Debuts Iowa Retail Sports Betting In Tribal Property

Blackbird Bend Casino Debuts Iowa Retail Sports Betting In Tribal Property

Iowa sports bettors can now place their wagers in person for the first time on tribal land after the vertical launched at the Blackbird Bend Casino near Onawa last Saturday. The casino is owned by the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska.

Sports betting at the casino launched after a years-long process. CEO Brad Appleton explained that “the idea all along was to get something that we could fit in the property without major remodeling,” as reported by KTIV, “and not breaking the bank, so to speak.”

The property allows bettors to wager at kiosks which, according to Appleton, take the pressure off new bettors as they are self-serve. “Come in, do it without the pressure of anybody watching you,” he pointed out. “If you don’t know how to play save wager at a sportsbook, if you’re not familiar with it and stuff, you know this gives you an opportunity to explore it.”

The casino did not launch a mobile app due to geographical limitations. Under the law, wagers have to be placed on tribal land that sits on the Iowa side of the Missouri River.

The tribe also owns the Lucky 77 casino in Walthill, Nebraska. A spokesperson told KTIV that the tribe hopes to introduce in-person sports wagering there.

Back in January, the latest report from the State Racing and Gaming Commission was launched, showing Iowa’s sportsbooks accepted $229.9 million in wagers in December. The figure represented a 7% drop in wagering activity from the previous month’s sports betting handle of $247.4 million and a 13.7% decrease from the same month in 2021. The numbers also brought the financial year-to-date total sports wagering handle to just over $1.1 billion.

In terms of revenue, December saw a massive month-on-month surge in sports betting win, with a 251.7% increase from the previous month. During the period, total earnings were $20.4 million, which was also a 52.2% increase from the $13.4 million in the same month the prior year.