Iowa becomes the third state to legalize sports betting in 2019

On Monday, Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds signed a sports betting bill into law making Iowa the third state to legalize sports betting in 2019.

Reynolds received the bill, SF 617, on 6 May after it was approved by the Senate and House last month.

This news comes as Montana and Indiana legalized sports betting earlier this month. At the time of writing, three states have approved legislation that legalizes sports betting in 2019.

Although the legislative calendar is beginning to slow down across the US, some states including Colorado and Tennessee are still considering sports betting legislation.

What’s in SF 617?

The bill legalizes land-based and state-wide mobile sports betting in Iowa. For mobile betting, residents will be required to register their online accounts in person at a land-based sportsbook until 1 January 2021. After this, punters will be able to register sports betting accounts remotely from anywhere within state lines.

In terms of taxation, the bill sets a low tax rate of 6.75% on sports betting revenue.

Sports betting licenses will cost operators $45,000 and a further $10,000 to renew them. The state’s 19 casinos will have the opportunity to apply for sports betting licenses. A license holder will also be able to operate two skins under a single sports betting license.

The bill also imposes a ban on proposition bets involving Iowa’s college teams.

Sports betting will be regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Sara Slane, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the American Gaming Association (AGA) published a statement responding to the news that Iowa legalized sports betting.

Slane said: “The state of Iowa has set its legal sports betting market up for success with a reasonable tax rate, mobile wagering, strong consumer protections and provisions that put responsible gaming at the forefront. Through the leadership of champions like Iowa Gaming Association President and CEO Wes Ehrecke, Iowans will now have a safe alternative to the illegal market that has thrived in the Hawkeye State and across the country.”

Gearing up for sports betting

In recent months, several partnerships have been formed in Iowa as gambling entities have been gearing up for the eventual legalization of sports betting in the state.

In January, Prairie Meadows partnered with William Hill for sports betting. Under this partnership, William Hill will construct a land-based sportsbook at the casino. This marked the first sports betting partnership in Iowa.

Last month, Catfish Bend announced a multi-year sports betting partnership with PointsBet. Under this deal, both companies will work together to create a “multi-faceted sports entertainment venue.”

FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook could also have access to the Iowa sports betting market. DraftKings recently partnered with Caesars and FanDuel is currently partnered with Boyd Gaming. Both Boyd and Caesars own and operate several venues in the state, creating an opening for the fantasy sports providers turned sports betting operators in Iowa.

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