Iowa sports betting may be legal very soon

DES MOINES, Iowa-- Iowa is about to become the 9th state to allow sports betting. On Monday April 22, a final bill landed on the desk of Gov. Kim Reynolds for her signature.

"It's happening illegally and we wanted to bring that illegal gambling out of the darkness so we can regulate it and keep a better eye on it," said Republican Sen. Jack Whitver.

The bill legalizes sports betting online, through an app and in person at Iowa casinos.  The bill does come with a few rules for gamblers. Some of the key points are:

  1.  You can't bet on minor league teams or high school sports.
  2. Bets cannot be made on individual players on the collegiate level as well as no bets can be made on teams in Iowa.
  3. You have to be 21 or older to place a bet.

There are some concerns when it comes to people who already have gambling addictions but Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson says the House is prepared for any problem gamblers, and a deal is already in the works to provide $300,000 to gambling addiction programs in Iowa.

"We actually have a separate bill in appropriations committee that we are going to double the money going to those funds, so in terms of getting people the help they need, we are going to provide additional resources to make sure that happens," said Hinson.

With the governor's signature, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will have the authority to set a start date of legalized sports betting in Iowa.

Iowa Casinos will be charged a 7.5% tax rate on revenue from sports betting.

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