On Tuesday, lawmakers introduced a new Senate Study Bill that could legalize sports betting in Iowa.
Senate Study Bill 1168 was introduced by Senator Roby Smith, chairperson of the Committee on State Government.
If successful, this bill would authorize the state’s 19 gambling venues to accept bets on both professional and collegiate sporting events.
Not only will the bill legalize land-based sports betting, but it will also legalize online and mobile sports betting. However, punters will have to register their online accounts in person at a physical licensed sportsbook.
If this bill is successful, the Iowa sports betting model will share some similarities with the Nevada sports betting model when it comes to in-person registration for online accounts. Rhode Island also has active legislation that would authorize mobile sports betting and will require in-person account set up.
The bill does not contain any royalty or integrity fee that would be allocated to the sports leagues. But Iowa’s gaming commission will have the authority to share suspicious sports betting activity with sports teams and leagues.
The bill also contains provisions that would legalize fantasy sports games meaning that operators like FanDuel and DraftKings will finally be able to enter the Iowa market.
However, the bill does not touch on taxation or licensing costs.
There are eight other sports betting bills that are being considered by Iowa lawmakers.
It appears that Iowa is going all in with legislative efforts this year after lawmakers in the state were unsuccessful in legalizing sports betting prior to the repeal of PASPA.
Iowa’s legislative session will run until 3 May 2019 so it could take some time for lawmakers to reach a decision on legalizing sports betting in Iowa.
Although sports betting is not yet legal in Iowa, that hasn’t stopped stakeholders from preparing for when it is legal.
In January, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino entered a partnership with William Hill US that will make William Hill the casino’s official sportsbook operator if sports betting is legalized in Iowa. Prairie Meadows is also constructing an 8,600 square foot sportsbook which will be operated by William Hill.