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Iowa Sports Betting Progress

Waving Fabric Flag of Iowa

Sports betting in the state of Iowa moved a step closer last week as the state’s Senate approved a bill that would legalise sports-related wagering in the territory.

Senate File 617 which proposes legalising both daily fantasy sports competitions and sports betting, was passed 31-18 by senators and will now go to the state’s House of Representatives, where it will be discussed and debated further, though no date has been set for the initial hearing.

The new proposal is an evolved version of Senate Study Bill 1168, which was released in February and discussed methods of legalising batting on sports in the state’s gambling venues, which include racetracks and 19 casinos.

SF 617 proposes that in-person, online and mobile sports betting should all be permitted throughout the state, although suggests an initial period, running to January 1, 2021, in which customers who want to bet using mobile devices have to first register at a licensed betting venue in person. In addition, while betting on professional and college sports would be permitted, the bill proposes a ban on bets related to player performance in the case of athletes on Iowa college teams.

If the bill is approved in its current state, operators who want to offer sports betting, would have to apply for a licence worth $75,000, along with an annual renewal cost of $5,000. Operators would be permitted to join with other companies to offer additional sports betting sites, but only if the third-party operator involved does not also hold an Iowa licence. The bill also proposes that operators would pay a tax of 6.75 percent of their annual net receipts, while the Iowa Racing and Gambling Commission would supervise the regulation and compliance of the Iowa sports betting industry.

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