Iowa's Casinos Give Back

2017-2018 Building Iowa's Communities Through Philanthropy

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Appropriation of State Taxes

FY2018 Appropriation of State Taxes
This report is released each summer. You can view previous reports here.

Iowa Legalizes Sports Wagering

What You Need to Know

Iowa has joined several other states by legalizing sports betting since the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court a year ago. The ruling allowed for each state to opt in if they chose to do so.

The Iowa Legislature deliberated this issue in a very transparent manner throughout its recently completed session. It passed with bipartisan support of 31-18 in the Senate and 67-31 in the House.

On May 13th, Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF 617, making Iowa the third state this year to enact a single-game wagering bill and the 15th jurisdiction overall (including Washington, D.C.) where individuals will eventually be able to place bets.

This new law authorizes retail and mobile sports wagering to be offered at the 19 commercial casinos with regulation, standards and oversight established by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).

Wagering will be allowed on professional, Olympic and college sports; however, in-play bets on Iowa college athletes are prohibited. Consumer protections and responsible game measures are set forth in the law, and a competitive tax rate of 6.75% has been established.

The initial cost for a sports wagering operator license is $45,000, and the annual renewal fee is $10,000. Casino operators are limited to a maximum of two ‘skins’ (the mobile apps available via a secure casino web portal with a patron’s password-protected access).

In order to use the mobile option, patrons must first physically go to a casino to establish their account, put dollars into it, prove they are 21 and receive their password access. They can then place bets anywhere within the state’s borders, assuming they have sufficient funds in their account.

The IRGC is working on the necessary rules along with the required licensing approvals of all companies involved with the casinos to offer this entertainment amenity. Its goal is to finalize the rule-making by late July and plan to allow those casinos who are ready upon obtaining the necessary sports wagering license, to begin taking bets by mid-late August in time for the beginning of this year’s NFL and college football season.

SF 617 also legalizes daily fantasy sports contests and requires operators to seek an internet fantasy sports contests service provider license from IRGC. The legal age for placing sports wagering bets or playing daily fantasy sports contests is 21 years of age or older.

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