The Q Sportsbook may be one of the most unique in the country. The Q Casino is actually owned by the city of Dubuque, Iowa and is a joint greyhound track and casino. The Q Sportsbook app launched in November 2019 and is available to both iOS and Android users. Admittedly, the real crown jewel of this sportsbook is the actual retail location with a 4,200 square foot entertainment area with 47 TVs and a sports bar.
You don’t really get that experience through the app, but the Q Sportsbook app is decent, particularly for a sportsbook with just one location. IGT is the technical partner for the Q Sportsbook App, so it works pretty well, even if the interface is a lot different than what we are accustomed to seeing in the industry.
Basically, there is a bit of a learning curve, which is almost in concert with the fact that Q had its own learning curve by deciding to keep operations in-house. As you would expect, the app is pretty basic and doesn’t have a lot of unique or niche betting markets. The staples are there and if that is all you need, then this is a good app to have in your back pocket for shopping around for the best odds and for fading local interests that have inflated and biased odds.
Let’s take a little bit deeper of a look at the Q Sportsbook:
Give the Q Sportsbook credit. They know that they are different you can tell that from the second that you power up the app. Rather than a standard-issue menu of betting odds, the landing page displays popular wagering events first. This makes a ton of sense for a small betting shop that won’t be looking to embrace a ton of risk. Drawing attention to events with larger betting handles does allow them to balance the books better. The unique look is part of the equation, but that also feels like a business decision.
Unfortunately, a lot of the intrigue lives and dies with that the display and the aesthetics. Otherwise, this is an app that is lacking a lot. Standard betting options are there like money line, spread, and total, but this is an app that is very light on things like props and futures. Some of the more basic props are offered for quarterbacks or starting pitchers, but you aren’t going to find a lot in the form of alternate lines or detailed player props.
The in-person, live wagering functionality is just fine with IGT’s support, but the betting options leave a lot to be desired.
Another problem is that you can only bet on the app. There is no website for betting. It is the app or at the sportsbook, which does include betting kiosks.
Fortunately, one thing that sets Q apart from another regional operator like Elite is that you can use PayPal to deposit. One of the downsides of these smaller apps is that they are reluctant to pay the big processing fees, so they restrict deposit methods. For Q Sportsbook, the deposit options are in-person, a Q Play+ Card, or PayPal. Withdrawals are also done via PayPal or in-person at the sportsbook or the casino cage.
Because there is no online sportsbook, you’ll have to use the mobile app for everything or make the trip to Dubuque. Like all Iowa sportsbooks, you’ll have to be located within the state borders to access your real money account.
This is where Q Sportsbook really comes up short. There aren’t any. The only real perk is gaining entry into the Q Rewards loyalty program, but the Q Sportsbook does not offer any sort of sign-up bonus. The sportsbook area is a great experience, so you’re almost better off doing things in-person rather than downloading the app. You aren’t really going to get anything out of the app other than convenience and you can get that from an operator with a lot more betting markets and stronger promotions.
Like trying to use a q in Scrabble, it is hard to find a lot of uses for the Q Sportsbook. The retail location appears to be an excellent place to watch a Sunday NFL slate or catch up with friends for a couple of beers. The Q Sportsbook App would be on Page 3 or 4 of your smartphone and you would maybe check it if you were price shopping. There is no way this app would be at the front of your mind.
It pains us to say that since the concept is so cool that the city of Dubuque owns a casino and wanted to keep the sportsbook in-house. It is quite an accomplishment and something that should be commended, but the downside to that decision is that the app is completely lacking in functions and features and simply doesn’t have a big enough draw to compete with most of the other apps in the state of Iowa.