Australian Sportsbook BlueBet to Make US Debut in Iowa
The Australian company BlueBet Sportsbook has reached a five-year agreement with Dubuque Racing Association to offer online betting in Iowa.
Under the deal announced Wednesday, BlutBet will have its American debut following a sportsbook brand agreement with the Dubuque Racing Association, which operates Q Casino.
Q Casino – operational since 1985 – is a combination greyhound racetrack and casino located near the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa.
BlueBet’s First American Agreement
The latest deal is the maiden agreement of the Australian-based bookmaker to launch in the US sports betting market under which BlueBet will serve as one of the casino’s skins for a mobile sportsbook pending regulatory approval.
The deal will initially be for five years with the Dubuque Racing Association but can be renewed for another five years.
The BlueBet Holdings’ CEO Bill Richmond said in a release that Iowa fits the Australian company’s criteria as a formidable wagering market with huge potential.
“This is a key milestone in BlueBet’s entry to the US market. We’re taking a very considered, staged approach to market entry in the US,” said Richmond.
BlueBet Follows a Cautious Approach
The news release clearly suggested a careful approach by BlueBet before launching a full-scale operation in the US market, which has been uncharted territory for the Australian company. A considered and staged approach to entering the US market will follow launches in other states soon.
But for now, Richmond said, the company is going ahead with a business to consumer (B2C) approach to demonstrate both the capability of BlueBet’s technology and its team, which he said “have been honed by years of successful operating in Australia,” before moving to its sportsbook-as-a-solution offering in the American market.
Richmond said the B2C strategy would allow the company to access tremendous US opportunities without significant ongoing capital expenditure.
BlueBet – already awaiting a nod for Virginia sports betting – is initially targeting five states. The other three are Colorado, Tennessee, and Maryland, the latest state to legalize sports betting.
When Will BlueBet App Go Live?
Many questions regarding BlueBet’s deal for the Iowa market remain unanswered. When asked when will the Australian sportsbook go live for its American debut, there was no clear answer. However, the state’s new sports betting apps want to launch in time for the 2021 NFL season.
Other questions related to the nature of the deal also went unanswered by both Q Casino and the BlueBet officials. As of now, it remains unclear whether the Australian sportsbook will be a rebrand of the existing Q Sportsbook or will serve as a second skin as an independent entity. However, BlueBet’s Wednesday announcement suggests it will serve as an extension of the existing casino license in the city.
BlueBet Chooses a Booming Market
BlueBet has taken a wise move by choosing a booming market with enough growth potential. The company’s CEO liked that Iowa sports betting marketing – which allows three mobile skin to each casino operator – is mostly done online. Richmond said the state’s mobile sports betting – which accounts for 85% of the total market share – has grown to a $1 billion market in the fiscal year 2021.
According to BlueBet, the company chose the Hawkeye State for a debut because of the low capital expenditure requirements, acceptable taxation, and regulatory requirements, and a significant population base.
The state law calls for an initial $45,000 licensing fee each time a sportsbook wants to operate in the state.