• Iowa sports betting was legalized on May 13, 2019, when IA Governor Kym Reynolds signed SF 617 into law.
  • The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has already approved sportsbook projects at several casinos in the state.
  • Sports betting in Iowa is legal through both retail and online outlets.

ALTOONA, Iowa – Iowa sports betting rules are almost finalized by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).

The last step needed now is for the Commission to receive a comment on the rules during a public hearing to be held at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, IA.

The rules come from IA SF 617, the Iowa sports betting bill that passed through the legislature and was signed into law by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in May of this year.

The IRGC has been formulating regulations ever since. Last month, the Commission also approved several sportsbook projects at Iowa casinos, including the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City and Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood.

The hearing will begin at 9:45 am on Thursday and those looking to participate will have to sign up beforehand.

Current Rules For Sports Betting In Iowa

The rules for Iowa sports betting follow a similar path as most states which have legalized sports betting. The only places that can apply for a sports betting license are the state’s 19 local casinos. Each one of those casinos can then have two sports betting skins, which they can offer to online sports wagering providers.

Those sportsbook apps would be available state-wide. But, in order to sign up for one of them, you will have to do so in-person at the partnered casino. This rule will stay in effect until January 1, 2021.

When it comes to operator costs, the tax rate on sportsbook revenue is only 6.75% and the initial licensing fee is only $45,000 dollars.

The price is much more affordable than other states such as Pennsylvania which has a tax rate of 35% and a licensing fee of $10 million.

As far as what types of bets will be available, you can expect betting lines on just about every professional and collegiate sport. However, prop bets that involve in-state college players or teams such as the Iowa Hawkeyes or the Iowa State Cyclones will be off-limits.

The legal age to bet on sports in Iowa will be 21 years old whether you are at the casino or using an app.

Where Iowa Residents Might Have Concerns

One of the key areas of concern may come from the fact that the Iowa sports betting market has the potential to become very saturated.

If all 19 Iowa casinos are approved for retail sports betting and each one of them uses both of their online sports betting skins, that could bring a total of 57 sportsbooks in the state. Given the fact that the licensing fees and taxes are so affordable, this could be possible.

With the activity so abundant, residents may be concerned with regards to problem gambling and gambling addiction. But part of the budget taxes collected from legal sports betting will be put to treatment for gambling addiction.

Residents may also be concerned with the integrity of the sports they watch. College players are some of the most susceptible to accept under the table money for their performances because they are not paid by their schools. This is why the provision against in-state collegiate prop bets was made.

Residents could also find it inconvenient to have to register in-person at a casino before using a mobile sports wagering app.

This rule helps retail sports betting parlors attract customers and it also helps maintain that only those that are of age can bet on sports. It is also only temporary.

The IRGC has tried to address possible concerns ahead of the public hearing, but they will still want to hear Iowa residents voice before regulations are set in stone.

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