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Future of Geolocation Software in Sports Betting at Stake in New Iowa Lawsuit

Written by: Michael Savio
Published April 30, 2024
6 min read
Iowa Lawsuit: Geolocation & Sports Betting Future

A group of college athletes in Iowa have filed a new lawsuit against the state over their use of geolocation software. 

The 26 student-athletes were at the center of a sports betting scandal last year. The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) used location software called GeoComply to track the betting activity on the athletes' phones, leading to a massive investigation that led to many student-athletes' convictions.

While the state and schools did go easier on some of the athletes involved, this group of 26 is fighting back. Their new lawsuit accuses the DCI and Iowa Department of Public Safety of illegally using the GeoComply software to track their phone activity without their permission. That action would require the DCI to obtain a search warrant, which they did not. 

"The lives of these young men have been disrupted and altered in way[s] still yet to be fully seen," attorneys for the plaintiffs said in a statement. "It is our hope that through the civil action, we can help these young men put their lives back on track and gain a measure of justice for the violation of their rights."

Lawsuit Could Be Major Step Backwards for Sports Betting

GeoComply is a commonly used software among sportsbooks in the US. The main purpose to to confirm that users are in a location where sports betting is legal, but it has also been used to identify suspicious betting. If that tool is taken away or hampered, it will make identifying instances where athletes are betting on sports incredibly difficult.

We recently saw NBA player Jontay Porter receive a lifetime ban for betting on his own stats and games, including instances where he bet against his own team. He is far from the only one to be accused of doing so, making pro and college sports leagues worry about the problem spreading.

The roundup of Iowa college athletes was seen as a warning to athletes across the country that they would be caught if they attempted to bet on sports. If this new lawsuit overturns those convictions, it will be a significant step back for regulators nationwide.

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Michael Savio

477 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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