Sports betting starts at Isle and Rhythm City

Local Sports

The William Hill Sports Book opens for business at Isle Casino in Bettendorf on August 15, 2019. (Taylor Boser,

UPDATE: Rhythm City received last-hour regulatory approval and joined Isle in taking sports bets for the first time in Iowa at Noon.

Neither site is offering mobile betting at this time, but both are taking on-site bets.

Rhythm City’s sister casino in Riverside delayed its opening until 5 p.m. today.

UPDATE: While the Rhythm City has not yet posted an update as to why its Elite Sportsbook is not opening today at Noon when sports gambling becomes legal in Iowa, its sister casino said it is “diligently working with regulators to finish the approval process. The delay won’t be long.”

“Keep watching our Facebook page or your e-mail inbox for the new date,” Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort’s social media post said. “Thank you for your patience as we work through this process!”

The Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa, is working with Elite Sportsbook, just as Rhythm City Casino in Davenport and Riverside Casino in Riverside are.

EARLIER UPDATE: Isle Casino will be live today at Noon for the start of sports betting in Iowa, but Rhythm City, and its Elite Sportsbook, will not.

No official word why at the moment.

Elite has posted on social media as recently as Tuesday that it “will open at Noon pending final approvals from IRGC.”

Isle has teamed up with William Hill U.S. and has a ceremony planned for 11:30 a.m. leading up to the first bet at Noon.

The emphasis for both sports books is to create an experience that makes the venues a place to watch live sports all year long.

EARLIER UPDATE: Iowa sports betting will officially commence on August 15. To prepare for the new law Isle Casino and Rhythm City Casino enhanced their sports books experience.

“We just think it’s gonna be a lot of fun and a whole new entertainment experience for people in the Quad Cities,” said Isle Casino General Manager Nancy Ballenger. They’ve been preparing for weeks.

“We spent $250,000 to put the book in place…We’re gonna have four ticket windows which will have experienced ticket writers that will be able to help you with any of your bets. We’ll have a bunch of odds boards and we’ll also have a bunch of TVs that you’ll be able to watch your favorite games on.”

Rhythm City Casino in Davenport is also getting ready. General Manager Mo Hyder says the existing ‘draft day sports lounge’ was built with wagering in mind.

“With the idea that when sports betting was approved, we would really leverage this and start providing another option for our customers,” Hyder says. “We’ll place a couple of our terminals out here where our customers can walk up and where they can take bets.”

The wagering will be managed by different sports betting companies. Rhythm City is parterning with Elite Sportsbook, while Isle has teamed up with William Hill U.S. The emphasis for both sports books is to create an experience that makes the venues a place to watch live sports all year long.

“We’re trying to get as close to that experience that you would have in Vegas or other resorts here, because you’ll be able to come in and personally bet,” adds Ballanger. “You’ll be able to enjoy some food and beverage with your friends.”

While the focus right now is on the August 15th launch and the upcoming football season, both Isle and Rhythm City say they’re already planning for big events like the Super Bowl and March Madness next year.

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