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Iowa House Passes Sports Betting Bill, Sends to Governor’s Desk

Credit:

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

  • Iowa lawmakers passed a bill that would allow for legalized sports betting to take place in their state.
  • The bill now moves to the desk of Governor Kim Reynolds, who has the opportunity to sign it into law.

Legalized sports betting in Iowa is now just one signature away. That signature would be the one of Governor Kim Reynolds, who, after the Iowa House voted 67-31 in favor of the bill, now has the opportunity to sign it into law.

The governor hasn’t spoken publicly regarding whether or not she’ll sign it, but state representative Bobby Kaufman (who voted in favor of the bill), says his side is “cautiously optimistic” that it will see the desired outcome.

Like most such bills, it would not result in sports betting becoming immediately available in Iowa casinos, but rather would allow the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to establish rules and practices for sportsbooks to implement, and pick an appropriate start date.

According to IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko, that would probably be sometime in the middle of the summer, giving casinos time to get their feet wet before the NFL and college football seasons start up.

On top of in-person wagering at sportsbooks in casinos, the bill also legalizes the use of daily fantasy sports (DFS) websites.

Since the striking down of PASPA nearly one year ago, seven states have joined Nevada in opening their doors to sports betting. Another two — New York and Arkansas — have passed bills to allow legalized sports betting to be put into action.

With a signature from Governor Reynolds, Iowa would make that list three for the time being. And if the projected mid-summer start date holds true, Iowa would become the ninth state to allow legalized gambling on sports.

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