• Sports Betting in Iowa was officially legalized in May of 2019 with a signature of approval from IA Governor Kim Reynolds.
  • Earlier this week, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved construction of sportsbooks at several casinos in the state.
  • Official rules for betting on sports in Iowa are expected to be finalized and posted by July 1.

DES MOINES, Iowa – It seems that football fans in Iowa will have a bit more to cheer for this upcoming Fall.

Brian Ohorilko, the Commission Administrator for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, announced earlier this week that the agency is aiming to have official sports wagering rules finalized and published by July 1. After that IA residents will be able to weigh in on the rules during a public hearing set 10 days later at Prairie Meadows Casino & Hotel in Altoona.

If all bears well at the hearing, the Commission would then coordinate a special meeting on July 30 where they will be officially accepting casino applications to offer the new gambling activity at their respective properties.

Once approved, casinos are anticipated to launch their sportsbooks by mid-August.

LegalSportsBetting got to catch up with Brian Ohorilko in order to see what kind of actions the IRGC is hoping to take in the coming weeks.

“We’re looking at other jurisdictions in New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, and Mississippi, and frankly all of the jurisdictions that have authorized sports betting, and go through those regs to find out if there are things at those jurisdictions that are working well and we would anticipate that those types of regs will be incorporated into the Iowa regs,” said Ohorilko.

Football season, which is historically the peak season for sports betting in the US, officially begins in September. But, the Commission wants local sportsbooks the have the chance to accept wagers before the busy season begins.

“The Commission is not bound to any timeline,” said Ohorilko. “We are working thoroughly and swiftly through this process. But, at the same time, it’s important to do it the right way.”

During the IRGC’s meeting on Thursday, the Commission approved renovations to begin at several IA casinos to make room for a new sportsbook. Construction will begin at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City at the start of next week.

Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort and Lakeside Casino were the other two locations that were approved for their remodeling projects. All three locations will still have to apply for an official IA sports betting license in the coming months.

What Kind Of Rules Does The IRGC Have To Make For IA Sports Betting?

The bill that legalized sports betting in Iowa, IA SF 617, came with some clear provisions of its own. It allows casinos and off-track betting facilities to host retail sportsbooks and it allows them to partner with online sports betting providers to develop state-wide mobile sports gambling apps.

It also makes it so that mobile app users have to register in-person at a legal sports betting establishment before using the platform.

One of the more notable rules that came with the bill is the ban of live prop bets on collegiate athletes in Iowa. This was put into place to protect the integrity of any college game.

However, the IRGC is working toward creating more specific policies for gaming establishments to abide by.

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