Iowa hopes to see sports gambling by September
Sportsbooks could be approved in time for the NFL regular season kickoff
It’s crunch time. Several states have legalized sports gambling over the course of the past month or so and they are all pushing to have sportsbooks up and running before September 5. That day is important, as it marks the first kickoff of the upcoming regular season of the NFL and Iowa is now the latest to hope that it can have all the pieces in place in time.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) created draft regulations for sports gambling this past May and then gave the public the opportunity to weigh in on the proposals. Now that the data has been collected and reformulated, the IRGC is meeting today in order to approve the final version of the rules and distribute them to the potential sportsbooks. The meeting is also designed to approve or deny sports gambling licenses.
There are 18 gaming venues in the state that have indicated they would be interested in hosting a sportsbook and which have submitted the requisite license applications. Those that are ultimately approved will be allowed to get their sports gambling operations ready for final approval by regulators, with August 15 being the established date for live wagers to begin. However, if any of the operators doesn’t receive approval and has to alter their plans, there will only be two weeks before the beginning of the NFL season if they hope to take advantage of the most popular sport in the sports gambling industry.
The IRGC’s administrator, Brian Ohorilko, isn’t convinced that any of the venues will be ready. He expects that all of them will fall short of meeting the commission’s requirements, which could mean that legal sports gambling might not be ready for football.