Iowa finalizes sports betting regulations and confirms launch date

At a special meeting held on Tuesday, The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) approved the final rules and regulations for sports betting in Iowa.

The IRGC voted 5-0 to approve emergency rules for sports betting in the Hawkeye State.

As well as finalizing the state’s sports betting rules, the IRGC confirmed that sports betting in Iowa can begin as early as 15 August 2019.

Takeaways from Tuesday’s meeting

Wes Ehrecke of the IRGC has been quoted by the Iowa Gazette as saying: “This is a very exciting day. A lot of moving parts had to take place to get this here for these approvals.”

Out of Iowa’s 19 licensed casinos, 18 have applied for a sports wagering license. The only casino in the state that has yet to show an interest in sports betting is the Casino Queen venue in Marquette.

According to IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko, 15 of the 18 venues are expected to launch mobile sports betting operations.

Punters can expect the William Hill branded sportsbook at Prairie Meadows to go live on 15 August. The casino recently completed construction of its 8,600 square foot sportsbook.

However, not every casino sportsbook will launch on 15 August, as not every venue is ready to go live with sports betting. Two primary dates have been set for launch with the first being 24 August, the start of the college football season, and 5 September, the start of the NFL season.

The IRGC will spend the upcoming weeks going over different gambling controls such as preventing underage and problem gamblers from taking part. The Commission will also establish a system to monitor suspicious wagering activity.

Sports betting in Iowa

This news comes after Iowa’s sports betting bill, SF 617, was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds in May. The passage of the bill legalized land-based and online wagering on professional and amateur sporting events as well as daily fantasy sports contests.

The legislation prohibits sportsbooks from accepting bets on events involving Iowa’s college teams. Iowa’s sports betting legislation sets a tax rate of 6.75% on sports betting revenue.

Iowans will be required to register an account with a sportsbook in person, regardless of whether they plan to bet on mobile devices. However, this will only be the case up until 1 January 2021, after that date bettors will be able to register remotely from anywhere within the state.

Just like any other state, Iowa’s sports betting apps will be subject to integrity and security checks before they can complete a full rollout.

Once Iowa’s first sportsbook opens for business, it will become the eleventh state to offer legal and regulated sports betting in the US.

Elsewhere in the US, Indiana’s state regulator confirmed which sports bettors will be able to wager on when the state’s sportsbooks go live in September.

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