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Sports betting could change viewership habits

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – With sports betting in full swing across Iowa, sports books and mobile apps could change how people root for their teams.

The Diamond Jo Casino opened its new sports books on Wednesday. This is the second sports book available in Dubuque.

Now that the ribbon is cut and the first bets have been placed, the stakes have never been higher for sports fans. Wendy Runde, Vice President of the Diamond Jo Casino, said sports betting could influence viewers to watch more games.

“That’s the fun of sports betting is that there’s a new reason to watch whatever might be on TV,” said Runde.

Rather than tuning into one or two games only to see their favorite teams, viewers can make a potential profit off of hundreds of sporting events. Bets can be placed by simply watching TV and checking your phone.

Kevin Hennessy, Director of Publicity for FanDuel, said that this pattern has been seen in other states that have legalized sports betting.

“You’ll see TV ratings go up in different markets when sports betting is happening because they’ll have money on the NBC game even though it has nothing to do with Iowa,” said Hennessy.

Sports books can also offer a sense of community. With an endless amount of ways to play, the emotional highs and lows of a good game can feel even more intense.

Antonio Freeman, Former Wide Receiver for the Green Bay Packers, said that sports books could fans another venue to engage with each other.

“This is a great opportunity to get people out of the house, be around others with the same common likes and have a good time,” said Freeman. “And watch sports. What’s better than watching sports?

Iowa joins the list of 12 other states that have legalized sports betting. There are six other states that are considering similar bills.

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Ashley Scott

Reporter, Dubuque

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