No esports betting in Iowa

  • Iowa has decided to ban credit cards as a form of payment at sportsbooks.
  • Esports has been prohibited from becoming legal for sports bettors in Iowa.
  • Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests have been approved for residents in Iowa to participate in legally.

DES MOINES, IowaA lot of action has taken place in Iowa regarding their sports betting industry recently.

Iowa officially launched the legal gambling on sporting events in August of 2019 with both retail locations and mobile sportsbooks allowed to open up for business. But now some changes are being approved while others are being rejected in the market by lawmakers.

The Credit Card Ban Of 2020

Using credit cards with Iowa sportsbooks will no longer be accepted.

This was not a term that was initially made within the law for sports betting but has now been established. It’s no different than Iowa not accepting credit cards as a form of payment when purchasing lottery tickets.

The logic is sound for this new clause in the law.

Bettors that use cash will lose their money but at least cover their lost wagers with that money.

“If you want you to lose your paycheck, that’s fine. I don’t know how long you get away with that from your family, but with a credit card, you can run a debt that can’t possibly be paid and so I thank the body for clarifying that,” said Senator Tony Bisignano of Des Moines. “We never did legalize it, but it got to be interpreted by fantasy sports that they have been using credit cards and this body has spoken.”

Fantasy sports and every other form of gambling in Iowa will no longer be able to accept credit cards as it is now a clear rule within the law. And with that rule, the credit card companies in the Hawkeye State rejoice.

Esports Betting Proposal Rejected, Fantasy Esports Approved

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) did not approve a proposal from the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) that would make esports wagers legal for residents to participate in.

Yet, they greenlit sports betting powerhouse DraftKings to allow gamblers in Iowa the ability to wager on fantasy esports contests by a unanimous 5-0 vote in the commission.

Both sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) became legal in Iowa in May 2019 but esports was not included within the sports betting law’s documents.

Esports has been growing in popularity over the years but it has seen a spike now more than ever because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

With major league games being suspended for months, avid sports bettors have turned to esports to place bets.

It’s All In The Wording

There is a reason why one request was approved while the other was not despite the similarities between the two.

It’s all a matter of the words used within the laws of Iowa that made the decisions easy.

While they are in the same realm, it’s been stated that in Iowa that betting on sporting events and betting on sports are two separate entities.

Each is mentioned in the law and the terminology does not sync up to allow for esports betting at this time.

“What you just approved in the prior agenda item wasn’t because Esports are a sport or an authorized sporting event. It was because they are a simulated game or contest — which is expressly allowed in 99-E — but there is no such language in 99-F,” said Jeff Peterzalek, Assistant Attorney General. “It (esports) does not meet the definition of authorized sporting events. I would also note that the definition of authorized sporting events expressly excludes — excludes fantasy sports as defined in chapter 99-E. It doesn’t meet the other definitions of professional sporting events, international sporting events, or any of the other definitions that would be needed.”

Once the lawmakers of Iowa became aware of the differences between 99-E for DFS contests and 99-F for sports betting, they made no requests to further the issue.

Either way, changes in Iowa sports betting are inevitable, as the growing industry is still figuring out its exact plans.

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