Three Sports Betting Bills Under Consideration in Iowa

Iowa State Capitol
Iowa lawmakers are reviewing three bills that would legalize sports betting.

30-second summary:

  • Two meetings scheduled to review three bills involving sports betting in Iowa
  • Each bill focuses on a different stakeholder (casinos, professional sports leagues, online fantasy sports and the lottery)
  • Representative Bobby Kaufmann wants to see unified plan created based on meetings

Sports betting is set to be heavily considered in the state of Iowa, with at least two meetings planned to discuss three bills on the subject. Each bill focuses on an individual stakeholder. The bills cover a variety of ways to offer sports betting, including mobile wagering. The goal of the meetings is to reach agreement as to how sports betting should be implemented in the state.

Meetings scheduled

Chairman of the House State Government Committee, Representative Bobby Kaufmann, is hoping the meetings result in a unified plan. Kaufman has reserved the former State Supreme Court room to discuss the bills.

A Senate subcommittee will also be meeting this week to discuss sports betting. At least three bills are currently being considered in the state that involve sports betting in some form or fashion. Each bill will be evaluated to determine how the industry will come to life in the region.

First bill

One bill is focused on the commercial casinos in Iowa. There are 19 such venues in the state. The bill would allow land-based sports betting and online options. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would oversee the new industry.

The Iowa Gaming Association is an advocate of the casinos, in favor of this measure. IGA president and CEO, Wes Ehrecke, feels that with this bill, players could visit a casino to register to play online via mobile. Then, players would have the ability to place sports bets from anywhere in the state.

Ehrecke pointed out that it may prove difficult to create a single bill that will please everyone. This is because each proposed bill has concepts that compete with each other.

He said: “They’ve got to make some philosophical decisions. Should it be on the casino platform? Or elsewhere? We feel that we’re best suited.”

Second bill

Another bill is focused on sports betting, favoring the major sports leagues. This bill would pay the sports organizations a fee for wagers placed on their games. Official league data would be used to determine the wagers offered. This bill also covers online fantasy sports.

Organizations in favor of this legislation include the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Third bill

The final bill up for consideration covers sports betting and gives the Iowa Lottery oversight power. Sports betting would be limited to supermarkets and convenience stores. The sports betting offerings would only be available where lottery games are sold.

Reportedly, a fourth bill is expected for yet another look at potential sports betting in the state.

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