Iowa lawmakers legalise sports betting

The bill approved by the Senate and the House approves sports betting in the state.

Iowa has become the latest state in which lawmakers approve and legalise sports betting operations. The bill was discussed and approved by the Senate last week and by the House on Monday and it only needs the signature of the Governor to come into force.

The Senate discussed and approved the bill last week with a 31-18 vote. It authorises the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which already regulates state casinos, to set rules for betting on professional, collegiate and international sporting events. However, it excludes some events like minor leagues and in-state college team players.

The bill also legalises daily fantasy sports (DFS) and fantasy sports contests, but delays betting based on college sporting events at least until May 2020.

Furthermore, sports betting will also be available for people over 21 and sets a 6.75% tax on net receipts. Lawmakers believe that taxes and licensing fees could bring up to US$2.3 million to US$4 million annually in revenue.

“This just brings people out of the shadows and gives them a regulated environment,” said Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport. “It gives people the freedom to choose to do sports wagering, legally.”