Iowa: Closed and without March Madness bets, sports betting faces new pressures Alan Blinder and Kevin Draper, The Morning Call · April 6, 2020 at 4:00 pm The Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino had planned an advertising campaign, looking to beckon visiting college basketball fans to its sportsbook. A rival, Ameristar, spent about $750,000 to renovate a space for sports enthusiasts it hoped would crowd into its property along the Missouri River and bet on March Madness, the Masters golf tournament and many offerings in between. This spring was supposed to be a showcase for Iowa’s nearly 8-month-old experiment with sports betting. The coronavirus pandemic, though, shuttered nearly every casino in the United States and prompted the NCAA to cancel its hallmark men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The three-week bonanza — 130 games across both tournaments, attracting casual fans with office pools and buzzer-beaters — would have ended Monday night with the men’s championship game.