Not all of the sportsbooks in the United States are operated by large betting corporations. Take Elite Sportsbook in Iowa for instance. Elite decided to run its own in-house sportsbook with its technological partner Bet.Works. The Elite Hospitality Group owns the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, Rhythm City Casino Resort, and Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Iowa and opted to create the DBA Elite Sportsbook. The Elite Sportsbook app launched in August 2019.
Competition is always a good thing. While the major betting operators are the biggest names and the ones that draw the most attention, these in-house shops help to keep everybody honest and can sometimes offer something that the giants will not. Of course, it can also be a means of keeping as much of the money in-house as possible.
The Elite Sportsbook is available in-person at the three properties, but also online and mobile to give users an alternative to the big names, the flashy advertising, and the occasional money-hungry operator that doesn’t put any priority on the player.
On the other hand, there are definitely things missing with the Elite Sportsbook that you can get in other places.
Let’s review this one and look at the pros and cons of Elite Sportsbook:
The first thing that you notice with Elite Sportsbook is that it creates a competitive wagering environment. Unlike some of the shady operators out there in the business, Elite Sportsbook uses the industry standard of -110 vig. There may not be as many betting options or leagues as other places, but all of the major betting markets are available and you won’t have trouble finding what you are looking for when you bring up the website or the mobile app.
Even the odds for futures and prop markets seem to fall in line with the average. Some things are lined better than others and you’re always going to find a little bit of influence in the lines for things like Iowa State or Iowa or anything else local, but that comes with the territory with a regional sportsbook as opposed to a national brand. If you are a contrarian bettor, that could certainly provide some really nice opportunity.
The Elite Sportsbook, or more specifically, the Bet.Works platform, will not blow you away at all. It is extremely basic in its layout and functionality. Some people prefer that type of setup and like something that isn’t overwhelming or busy. If you want a nuts and bolts betting approach in Iowa, this is fine.
One of the problems with Elite is that the limited number of players and the smaller betting handles do limit the promotional offers that are available. More often than not, Elite Sportsbook is going to have a first deposit offer on the lower end of the spectrum. There also won’t be nearly as many daily or weekly promotions.
The Cash Out feature that has become so popular with other sportsbook operators is one feature, but this is a sportsbook that could honestly be considered bland. The live betting interface is lacking in information and doesn’t have the same polish as more accomplished, tried and true betting apps.
While the odds and available markets are mostly standard, especially for full-game wagering, props and derivatives can be hard to find, if they are even posted at all.
In some respects, this sportsbook feels like dial-up in a high-speed internet world.
Like all Iowa sports betting apps, you must be located within the state to bet and also must be of legal age.
Getting money into Elite Sportsbook is not easy. The only ways to add funds are to use the Elite Play+ Prepaid Card or to deposit in-person at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort near Iowa City, Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood near the Sioux Falls, SD border, or at Rhythm City Casino Resort in the Quad Cities in Davenport.
That is far from user-friendly and much more limited than what we see from other sportsbook operators. Withdrawals can only be picked up at one of the Elite properties. This is the antithesis of the user-friendly procedures that we see from so many other sportsbooks.
While this sportsbook is named Elite, that is not a descriptive term. This is a passable sportsbook for those that want to have a regional sportsbook in hopes of picking off some lines that are too heavily influenced by local allegiances and fan bases. That would be the only real reason to have an Elite Sportsbook account. Those extra points and half-points going against the Packers, Bears, Hawkeyes, and Cyclones could come in handy. Maybe you could find a few extra dollars or cents on division futures to pick against the local teams.
Other than that, Elite Sportsbook is just not user-friendly. The basic interface still fails to be organized in an optimal manner and navigation is pretty clunky and time-consuming.
The odds are fair, which is why we would give a sign of approval to somebody that would want to bet at a place with a modest edge on local teams, but a regional sportsbook like this is also far more likely to limit winning players or kick them out entirely, which is something else that you have to consider if you plan to move any significant money.
All in all, there are much better options in Iowa.