Prairie Meadows Is Banking On Legislators Legalizing Sports Betting

DES MOINES, Iowa --  On Wednesday the Iowa legislature began what will likely be a long conversation over legalizing sports gambling in Iowa.

A legislative subcommittee considered four separate bills on Wednesday that would legalize betting on professional and collegiate sports.  A 2018 US Supreme Court ruling lifted the federal moratorium on the activity.

Prairie Meadows Casino is banking on the legislature legalizing betting.

"We can’t run odds, we can’t take wagers it’s not legal in the state so a lot of the T. V’s you see are dark right now," Brad Rhines with Prairie Meadows said.

Prairie meadows invested $1.5 million in the hope’s lawmakers legalize sports gambling.

Part of that money paid for a 8,600 square foot state of the art sports betting expansion.

“It bodes well to have potential sports betting on the gaming platform we are poised to take advantage of it," Rhines said.

Prairie Meadows likes its odds.

On bill a Senate subcommittee heard would legalize betting in all casinos and bring betting right to your cell phone.

All of the bills have the state getting a cut but not everyone sees it as a win.

“We are opposed to expanding gambling rights in Iowa,” Amy Campbell lobbyist I for Iowa Behavioral Health Association said. “13 percent of Iowans have been exposed to problem gambling in their lifetime according to the Mayo Clinic gambling can impact the brain like drugs and alcohol stimulating addiction".

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