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Iowa Sports Wagering Bill Advances Out of Senate Committee

Iowa Lawmakers Ready to Vote on Sports Gambling Bill

This week, Iowa legislators moved a sports betting bill out of committee with an eye on voting on the measure soon.

The state’s Senate Ways and Means Committee gave the go-ahead for SF 366 keeping the bill alive for further debate inside the current legislative session.

The bill focuses on allowing bettors to make in-person wagers on sporting events at any of the state’s casinos and horse tracks.

What arose from the latest version of the bill that surprised gambling experts is that the state is going to allow third-party vendors to bid on creating partnerships with the state’s casinos.

This could create agreements much like how FanDuel and DraftKings have entered partnerships with casinos in states like New Jersey.

Another popular form of sports betting, online through an app, is also included on the bill which would allow residents to vote from anywhere inside the state’s boundaries.

The sports betting measure has been championed by Republican congressmen since the Supreme Court decision in 2018 that struck down Nevada’s monopoly.

Governor Kim Reynolds, also a Republican, has made no statement that would impede the bill from becoming law soon after the bill passes.

So Where Does the Iowa Bill Go From Here?

Although there are a few more mountains to climb for the bill to become law, Iowa is poised to become a state where sports betting is legal in the not-so-distant future.

Senate leaders in Iowa will bring the bill to the floor for debate, but experts believe that the measure will find a soft landing when a vote is finally called.

The state Senate will also have to decide how to spread the revenue from taxes that the bill brings in.

Some senators want the money to go toward educational programs while others feel that the money would be best served to enhance infrastructure within the state.

If the bill passes this session, that does not mean that Iowans should race down to their local casino to immediately start placing bets.

The law will allow casinos and race tracks to begin the licensing application process as early as July of this year.

The application process will take several months before the state can approve licensing.

So, the best-case scenario for implementation of a sports betting law in Iowa would be earmarked for early 2020, perhaps in time for the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

Are Casinos Ready for Sports Betting in Iowa?

Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino has already partnered with sportsbook operating company William Hill to build a state-of-the-art sportsbook on their premises.

“We are excited about the prospect of sports betting in Iowa and are thrilled to partner with Prairie Meadows to be ready for the day when sports betting is legal in the state,” said William Hill US CEO Joe Asher.

Prairie Meadows recently completed construction of an 8,600 square foot facility that will feature state-of-the-art technology including live betting, large high-definition screens and plenty of room for gamblers.

“Once the legislative process is complete, this innovative partnership will provide many fun and unique sports betting options for our guests,” said Brad Rhines, senior vice president and chief strategic officer of Prairie Meadows.

Until then, if you reside in New Jersey and want to place a bet on sports, you can do that here:

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