Legal Sports Report

Iowa One Step Closer To Sports Betting, As Senate Easily Passes Bill

Iowa sports betting passes Senate

An Iowa sports betting bill passed the Senate comfortably on Wednesday, setting up the state to have legal wagering this year.

The bill passed 31-18 with bipartisan support and now heads to the House.

Progress for Iowa and sports gambling

A new amendment appears to be a compromise that could lead to legislation being enacted into law.

Sources close to the process confirmed the amendment’s contents to Legal Sports Report. The Iowa Senate passed the amendment to SF 617 that would bring retail and mobile sports betting to the state. The bill also would legalize daily fantasy sports in Iowa.

What’s in the Iowa sports betting bill

There’s a little something for everyone in this IA sports betting bill. It’s clearly legislation that seeks to appease various factions without inserting anything that would destroy it.

Highlights of the compromise amendment include:

  • 6.75 percent tax rate on sports betting revenue, plus 0.75 percent additional to charitable groups and causes
  • $45,000 license fee, $10,000 renewal fee
  • Mobile betting via intrastate means only (this appears targeted at Wire Act compliance)
  • Up to two skins per licensee
  • In-person registration for mobile apps until Jan. 1, 2021
  • Ban on prop bets involving in-state college teams, but betting on college games generally is allowed.
  • Regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

What’s next in Iowa?

The House is likely to consider the bill early next week. A passed bill would give Iowa sports betting a chance to ramp up within 2019.

Time is relatively short — the legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 3. But the calendar still gives the House plenty of time to pass the bill, especially if a compromise designed to get to the bill through the House holds up.

In any event, sports betting seems to have a clear path forward, and we should know the fate of Iowa sports betting in the coming weeks.

Adam Candee
- Adam Candee is the managing editor of Legal Sports Report. He covers sports business and news from Las Vegas. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun and KLAS-TV. He can be reached at [email protected]
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