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2017-2018 Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy

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FY2018 Appropriation of State Taxes
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Iowa Gaming Association Supports Sports Betting Legislation in 2019 Legislative Session

With Iowa’s 2019 legislative session kicked off, a key priority for the gaming industry is to pursue legislation to legalize sports betting in Iowa. The Iowa Gaming Association, comprised of the 19 commercial casinos, provides a leading role regarding gaming issues across the state and will fully support sports betting under certain implementations.

The IGA’s main focus is on the communities where commercial casino gaming, in all forms, takes place. We continue to promote the importance of gambling responsibly and smartly, as well as supporting Iowa’s robust network of treatment programs, such as YourLifeIowa.org and the statewide helpline, 1-800-BETS OFF.

Following are the industry’s proposed parameters for advocating to support legalized sports betting in Iowa:

  • With their considerable expertise, casinos are the best fit for a high-compliance industry like sports betting; casinos should be the only platform to host sports betting.
  • The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission (IRGC) should regulate sports betting; it is a highly respected regulator and will establish the necessary standards, rules and oversight to assure public confidence.
  • Mobile access to sports betting should be limited within Iowa by secure password-protected casino web portals and geofencing technology.
  • Sports betting should be allowed on all professional and collegiate events; including in-state schools and games.
  • Sports betting patrons must be 21 years of age and be present in person to start an account.
  • A minimal initial licensing fee of $1,000, as casinos have already been subjected to extensive background investigations and meet strong regulatory standards.
  • A competitive tax rate of 6.75%, the same as Nevada’s, to enable Iowa casinos to compete with bookmakers, illegal off-shore markets and other entities that pay no state taxes.

Additionally, the IGA will not support:

  • Proposed major league .25%-1% “integrity or royalty” and mandated official statistics monopoly fees that have never been allowed in other states with legalized sports betting.
  • The Lottery to offer sports betting; the state should not take on the considerable risk and volatility of operating a sports book.
  • Sports betting at retail Lottery kiosks, which would create more opportunities for minors to access and less regulatory oversight.

As the session continues, the IGA will continue to provide information on the bill status and positions. Please continue to check in as we update the site. Our 19 member casinos are ready to serve a population that is eager to start legally betting on sports.

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