Will Governor Go The Distance For IA Sports Betting?
Legal Sports Report

Iowa Sports Betting Outlook Blurry, But No Hurry To Worry Because Gov Has 30 (Days)

Iowa sports betting

The wait will carry on a bit longer to find out if legislation enabling Iowa sports betting is signed into law.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will have up to 30 days to make her decision on the bill passed April 22 by the legislature. This should set the deadline on May 27.

With Iowa Legislature adjourning a week early last weekend, SF 617 did not have time to make it to her desk first.

To give Reynolds enough time to consider the many bills that pass during the final days of a legislative session, the usual three-day window extends to 30 days for bills that don’t reach the governor until after the legislature reaches sine die.

Doubts as to whether the Iowa governor will sign

Given her early comments about the bill, it could be good that Reynolds has added time to consider legal sports betting.

When asked about a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll in February that indicated 52% of 803 Iowans surveyed opposed legalized betting on professional sports, Reynolds responded:

“That’s what we’ll take into consideration when I sit down with the policy team and go through the bill, and we’ll make the decision going forward.”

Bill author Rep. Roby Smith told Legal Sports Report he is unfazed by those comments. Reynolds did speak in favor of the state regulating sports betting during her campaign.

“I think she wants to take time and review it, and she doesn’t want to say one way or another in case she decides to go a different way,” Smith said. “I don’t have problems with the comments. They show she is doing her due diligence.”

Is the Iowa sports betting decision weeks away?

Smith doesn’t think Reynolds will take the full 30 days to decide on Iowa sports betting.

His guess is that Reynolds’ decision will come in the next three weeks, with which week depending on what order she happens to get to it among the other dozens of bills on her desk.

Smith spoke with the governor’s liaison to the legislature after the bill’s passage to express that he would be more than happy to answer any questions from the governor or her policy team.

At the time of the IA sports betting bill’s passage, Smith told LSR that he is confident the governor will sign because the bill had been properly vetted. The bill received a total of 16 hearings in the two chambers and passed with bipartisan support.

Matthew Kredell
- Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with online sportsbook pioneer Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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