Browse articles by topic

Iowa Governor signs sports betting bill into law


Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has signed off on a bill that legalises sports betting in the US state.

Senate File 617, which passed the Iowa House of Representatives and Senate last month, will permit in-person, online and mobile sports betting in Iowa.

The bill went back and forth between the House and Senate due to a number of late amendments by the Senate, some of which the House and accepted and others rejected.

The House had proposed a licence fee of $75,000 (£57,960/€66,750) while the Senate was keen on $15,000. It was eventually agreed that the fee would be set at $45,000.

Other key aspects of the bill include a tax rate of 6.75% on an operator’s annual sports wagering net receipts. Operators that secure a licence are permitted to enter into partnerships with up to two entities to set up additional sites for sports betting, but only if the third party does not already hold a licence in Iowa.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will be tasked with regulating the new market, with betting permitted on professional and collegiate sports. However, there will be a ban on betting on player performance for athletes representing a college team based in Iowa.

SF617 also references a ban on daily fantasy sports contests based on collegiate players, stating that this will only be in force until May 2020.

The final version of the bill is an evolution of Senate Study Bill 1168, which was filed in February of this year with the aim of legalising betting on professional and collegiate sports events at Iowa’s 19 casinos, racetracks and other gambling facilities.

Iowa becomes the third state this month to legalise sports betting, following in the footsteps of Indiana and Montana. Sports betting legislation enacted by the Washington DC Council in January has also formally passed into law, following a 60-day congressional review.

Image: Alpha Stock Images