The state of Iowa could become the first state to legalize sports betting in 2019 after the Iowa legislature passed a sports betting bill on Monday.
The Iowa legislature voted 67-31 in favor of passing SF 617.
Now that the bill has passed the Senate and the House, it will be sent to the governor for a final decision. If Gov. Kim Reynolds signs the bill, then sports betting will become legal in the Hawkeye State.
If Reynolds receives the bill while the legislature is still in session, she will only have three days to sign the bill. However, if Reynolds receives the bill after the session ends, she will have 30 days to sign the bill.
Iowa’s legislative session ends on 3 May 2019.
During a campaign debate in February, Reynolds said that she believes sports betting should be regulated.
“You know, I think it needs to be regulated,” Reynolds said. “It’s happening. It’s happening to a big extent.”
If signed into law, the bill would legalize in-person betting as well as online and mobile sports betting in Iowa.
SF 617 would charge the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission with establishing rules and regulations for betting on professional and collegiate sporting events.
Much like the New Jersey sports betting model, betting on in-state college teams will be prohibited.
One of several amendments made to the bill included lowering the sports betting licensing fee from $75,000 to $45,000.
On top of lowering the licensing fee, lawmakers agreed to legalize fantasy sports betting games in May 2020.