Sports Betting Exchange Expands Into Iowa Market


More than 30 states plus the District of Columbia offer legal sports betting in some form. Each of those states plus DC feature traditional sportsbooks. A few of those states have licensed operators of a sports betting exchange.

Both a sportsbook and a sports exchange engage in legal betting on sports. The book accepts the wager acting as the house. The exchange facilitates the wager acting as the broker. The actual bet exists between two parties as members of the exchange.

The sports betting concept of an exchange has been slow to catch on in the legal US market. The majority of the sports bets placed are between the book and the bettor. However, sports betting exchanges continue to fight for a piece of the market where available.

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Smarkets Announces Plans to Expand Into Iowa

Operating as a worldwide sports betting exchange, Smarkets made its initial US debut in Colorado. The site first went live in June of 2020. Through a partnership with Affinity Interactive, the company has released its plans to enter Iowa as its third legal US market. Plans to enter Indiana were previously announced.

The partnership with Affinity Interactive will be responsible for the launch of the company’s SBK Sportsbook mobile betting app. This app has been designed as an online platform for wagering and trading on sports, politics, and current affairs.

Jason Trost is the founder and CEO of Smarkets. He released the following statement as part of a recent company release:

“The potential for SBK is huge in America, so adding our third licensed state is key as we move to our next stage of growth.”

Market access into Iowa is a result of an agreement between Smarkets and Full House Resorts. The launch of the SBK Sportsbook app is planned for later in 2022. As a major plus for the exchange, Iowa law allows wagers on college sports.

Trost went on to add:

“It is particularly meaningful for me as my family is from Iowa and so I have always wanted the opportunity to launch there.”

As CEO of Affinity Interactive, Mary Beth Higgins added her insight into the expansion plan as follows, “we are pleased to help Smarkets add SBK to another US marketplace.”

Sports betting in Iowa has been legal since May of 2019. Less than two years later, the state’s total betting handle crossed the $2 billion plateau. Iowa remains an important Midwest market for legal sports betting along with Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Smarkets Company Background

Smarkets was founded in 2008. The management team consisted professionals from the field of finance and software engineering. Based in London, offices were added in both Malta and Los Angeles.

Primary investors behind Smarkets include Passion Capital, Deutschmark Telekom and Susquehanna Growth Equity. The company operates the Smarkets exchange as a betting exchange and betting market platform. The second product is the SBK app which acts as sportsbook interface.

The Smarkets platform currently processes billions (in English pounds) on an annual basis. It operates in various global regulated markets including Colorado in the US.

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