Ever since the United States Supreme Court made repealed PASPA in May, a number of states have been grappling with various sports betting legislation. A decent number of the states have been quite successful in launching their own sports betting industries with a few others opting for a rather slow approach as they fine-tune various elements of the regulations that will govern their sports betting ecosystems.
One of the states that are just now beginning to significantly advance its sports betting bids is Iowa. Gambling interests backed by the state’s legislators, the state lottery, and the casinos are gearing up for yet another push for the legalization of sports betting. It is anticipated that statewide sports betting in Iowa could go live by next year thus opening the doors for a number of economic benefits to both the state and the local community through the taxes paid by the operators.
With all the relevant parties having shown great support for sports betting in Iowa, the only thing that remains is for them to decide how best to go about it. Jake Highfill, the Iowa state representative has confirmed that both the Democrat and Republican politicians in the state are “all in” on the legislation.
Legislative Work Continues Behind the Scenes
As mentioned before, the window of introduction of the new legislation has now closed since the state session has been officially closed till January – there will, therefore, be no significant legislative moves till then. Still, when the next legislative session begins, it is likely that the sports betting legislation will move forward in the form of House File 2448, which had already been approved by Iowa’s Ways and Means and House State Government committees.
The biggest setback for the legislation this year was the failure of the Republican majority to reach a consensus, something that denied the Senate the chance to take an action. Fortunately, work on the issue will continue behind the scenes as legislators like Highfill prepare legislation that will be approved by all proponents of sports betting in the state.
Everyone Wants a Piece of the Action
It seems that there is an insanely high amount of interest when it comes to sports betting in Iowa – perhaps the highest in any state. Highfill pointed out that other than casinos, other entities such as the convenience stores, grocery stores, and retail outlets all want to in on sports betting. The state’s retailers want in specifically because they believe that the industry could lead to increased sales in their stores.
As expected, professional sports leagues have not been left far behind – they are still going after the so-called ‘integrity fees’ they have been lobbying for since earlier this year.
The casinos and the state lottery will still have a considerable portion of the sports betting market in Iowa especially considering the fact that a huge chunk of global sports betting is conducted through the lottery. Currently, the Iowa Lottery is currently in charge of games like scratch tickets and Powerball while the Racing and Gaming Commission oversees casino gambling.