Details of the law
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill that legalizes sports betting in the state. The law authorizes Iowa’s 19 casinos to offer sports betting. The plan is to begin with land-based sportsbooks and then offer mobile/online sports betting in the future.
The sports betting law allows Iowa residents and visitors who are 21 years of age or older to take part in real money betting. State-regulated casinos can offer sports bets on both professional and college sports games. Mobile and online sports betting will also be allowed but will require in-person registration. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will regulate the new industry.
Wagering on minor league baseball, and high school or other youth amateur sports is prohibited. In-game bets on an individual player’s performance are also prohibited if the player is on a team at a state university or college.
Fantasy sports wagering is also allowed, but collegiate sports in this category are excluded until May 2020. Winnings from sports betting will be taxed at 6.75% and casinos will have to pay a licensing fee to take part.
It has been estimated that from $1.8m (£1.4m) to $3.5m (£2.7m) will be generated in sports betting tax revenues on an annual basis. Application fees are set at $45,000 (£34,800) with a $10,000 (£7,740) annual renewal fee. Revenue will go into the state’s general fund and the sports wagering receipts fund.
A spokesman for Governor Pat Garrett said: “Governor Reynolds believes that legalizing sports betting will bring this practice out of an unregulated black market. This law will regulate, tax, and police sports betting in a safe and responsible way.”
The road to legalization
Iowa’s road to sports betting legalization has been long. At one point, nine bills were under consideration, with each bill covering certain aspects, such as mobile betting or retail-only operations.
According to VSO News, one of those bills was approved by a 31-8 vote in the Senate and by a 67-32 vote in the House. It then went to Governor Kim Reynolds, who decided to sign it after about a week of deliberation.
Iowa now joins Montana, Indiana, and Tennessee in legalizing sports betting.