Iowa governor delays sports betting legalisation

The governor still has to declare whether she’ll sign the bill or not. Credits: KCRG

The governor declined to comment whether she will sign the sports betting bill passed on Monday by the House.

US.- Iowa lawmakers have discussed sports betting and its benefits for a few months now, and both the Senate and House approved a legislative piece that would legalise the segment in the state. In order to be fully legalised, the sports betting bill needs the governor’s signature. However, Kim Reynolds hasn’t said whether she will sign it or not.

Reynolds has declined throughout the legislative session to indicate if she supports the gambling expansion in the state. This comes despite high indications that it would succeed, as all 19 casinos, horse and dog racing and the state lottery had record sales in 2018.

However, a recent poll said that 52% of residents are against legalized betting on professional sports. “That’s what we’ll take into consideration when I sit down with the policy team and go through the bill and we’ll make the decision going forward,” Governor Reynolds said.

The bill authorises the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which already regulates state casinos, to set rules for betting on professional, collegiate and international sporting events. However, it excludes some events like minor leagues and in-state college team players.

The bill also legalises daily fantasy sports (DFS) and fantasy sports contests, but delays betting based on college sporting events at least until May 2020. Furthermore, sports betting will also be available for people over 21 and sets a 6.75% tax on net receipts. Lawmakers believe that taxes and licensing fees could bring up to US$2.3 million to US$4 million annually in revenue.

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