Iowa inches closer to legalized sports gambling
The state’s Senate approves land-based and online sportsbooks
There is still a lot of work to be done before Iowa legalizes sports gambling, but at least progress is being made. The state’s Senate approved legislation last week that would authorize online and land-based sportsbooks, as well as allow residents to place bets on professional and certain college-level sports events. The Senate approved the sports gambling bill, Senate File 617 (SF 617), by a vote of 31-18 last Wednesday and, now, the House passed the bill yesterday by a vote of 67-31. The next stop is the governor’s desk.
If the bill survives as is, all of the land-based casinos in Iowa would be allowed to launch sportsbooks. They would have to pay an annual license fee and a 6.75% tax on revenue, which is similar to what is found in many states across the country. The activity would be overseen by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. In addition to sports gambling, daily fantasy sports is also authorized by SF 617. However, it would be delayed on college-level players until May 1 of next year.
According to the bill’s creator, Senator Roby Smith, “I believe what we’re doing in this bill is the right thing to do. Our task was to establish the proper regulatory framework that promotes a safe, secure and reliable entity and I believe we have accomplished that goal. Sports wagering will no longer be acceptable in the dark. The sun is shining and Iowans will be able to participate legally and responsibly.”