Jeff Kluesner sat within the newly opened Q Sportsbook in Dubuque recently and contemplated the beginning of a new football season.
The Dubuque resident speculated that he would enjoy his favorite sport even more now that he can place a few wagers.
“It’s all about the football,” he said with a wide smile. “I am intrigued by baseball and basketball, but the majority of the bets I make will be on football.”
Kluesner added that he plans to wager on the Iowa Hawkeyes each week of the year, even if his home-state bias could cloud his judgment from time to time.
“I’ll bet on Iowa every time,” he said. “I could never bet against my own team.”
The recent legalization of sports gambling in Iowa has prompted scores of area residents to consider sports in a new light.
Q Sportsbook opened within Q Casino and Hotel on Aug. 27. FanDuel Sportsbook opened in Diamond Jo Casino on Sunday.
But while many are eager to place their first bet, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the new offering.
Here are some tips.
What sports can you bet on?
Betting isn’t just limited to major American team sports such as baseball, basketball, football and hockey.
“You can bet on pretty much every sport — soccer, tennis, golf, NASCAR, mixed martial arts or boxing,” said Dave Manning, manager of Q Sportsbook. “We’ve got them all.”
In addition to American professional sports, bettors can wager on college athletics and a wide range of international leagues and competitions.
Can you bet on Iowa teams?
Yes, with just a few limitations.
Manning explained that patrons can wager on games played by Iowa, Iowa State and other colleges located in the state.
However, they cannot place in-game bets on specific players. For instance, fans can’t bet on how many passing yards will be amassed by Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley in a specific game.
Who sets the odds?
In most cases, the casinos aren’t running the sportsbooks by themselves. Instead, they are contracting with companies that specialize in the industry.
It is these vendors that will set the odds for sports wagers.
How does one place a bet and get paid?
Bets at a retail sportsbook — a physical location — only can be placed using cash. Once a wager is placed, the bettor will receive a printed ticket.
After winning a wager, the bettor must turn in this ticket to be compensated.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, the minimum wager is $5, according to FanDuel Director of Publicity Kevin Hennessy. At Q Casino, the minimum wager at a kiosk is $2 and the minimum with a live teller is $5.
The maximum bet at a Q Sportsbook kiosk is $500, while wagers can go as high as $3,000 at the live teller window. Wagers above $3,000 require manager approval, Manning said.
Can you place a bet over your phone?
Not yet, but eventually.
Both Q Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook plan to roll out a mobile application, which will allow users outside the casino to place wagers. Neither sportsbook has a firm timetable for that offering.
Hennessy, of FanDuel, said this is par for the course.
“In the other states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, each state set up retail sports betting first and then focuses on mobile/online wagering,” he wrote via email.
When the mobile apps are available locally, players still will have to visit one of the casinos to set up their accounts initially. After that, bets can be placed outside of the casinos, but players must be in the state of Iowa to make any wagers.
What kinds of bets can be place?
There are a lot. Here is a glossary of some important terms.
Point spread: The point spread, or simply “spread,” indicates by how much the favored team is expected to win. If the Iowa Hawkeyes are favored by a field goal, they would be a 3-point favorite and the point spread would be “Iowa -3.” If you bet on Iowa, you will win if Iowa wins by four or more points. If the Hawkeyes lose or win by 1 or 2 points, you lose the bet. If they win by 3, it is a “push,” meaning you neither win nor lose and you get your wager back.
Money line: If you bet the money line, you are simply betting on who will win. The margin of victory doesn’t matter. Betting on a huge favorite to win would yield a very small return; wagering on a big underdog to win is risky but would net a large payout.
Over/under: This refers to whether a final total is over or under a set amount. For example, you could bet the over/under on the number of points scored in a football game. Let’s say Iowa and Wisconsin are playing, and the over/under is 56. If you bet the under, you are wagering that the two teams will combine to score fewer than 56 points; if you choose the over, you’re betting on the opposite outcome.
Futures: Rather than betting on specific games, futures bets allow you to wager on long-term results. A prime example: Picking who will win the Super Bowl. These bets have long odds and big payouts.
Proposition bets: Commonly referred to as “prop bets,” these wagers allow the bettor to wager on specific events or player metrics. One could bet, for instance, on how many passing touchdowns Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will throw in this week’s game against the Chicago Bears.
Parlay: Put simply, these are combination bets. Such a wager would, for instance, allow one to bet that Wisconsin and Iowa would win their respective matchups in a particular week. Such bets generally have longer odds and higher payouts. But if you lose any part of the bet —for instance, if Iowa or Wisconsin lose — you lose the wager.