As mobile sports betting hits record numbers in Iowa, football expected to keep bets rising

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(KCAU) — With the college football season well underway and the NFL just kicking off, mobile sports betting is expected to ramp up in Iowa.

The bets are on in Siouxland as people can gamble remotely without an in-person registration.

Brian Ohorilko, with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, said a record $104 million was wagered in August and with football season underway, he doesn’t expect the bets to slow down soon.

“We’ve seen just the number of operators increase in the state or the interest in sports betting and so as we see more companies offering wagering, I think it’s still reasonable to expect continued growth until we start seeing some settling in terms of companies that are interested in this market,” Ohorilko said.

Seven companies are already licensed to offer mobile sports betting in Siouxland and Ohorilko said another 13 could be licensed by the end of fall, but as Siouxland keeps betting, mental health experts worry about gambling addiction.

Cindi Prather, a mental health practitioner with Heartland Counseling Services, said once people get sucked into gambling, quitting is not so easy

“A lot of times family members think ‘All they have to do is stop. Stop going to the casino, stop playing the games, stop doing the online gambling.’ That’s not always easy because gambling affects the brain,” Prather explained.

There are tools built into mobile gambling apps that are required by law. They allow users to put limits on time using the app and how much money can be deposited.

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