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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.
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.”
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.