Needing Governor’s Approval Iowa Commission Hopes To Begin Sports Betting In August

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Governor Kim Reynolds remains silent on where she stands on the legalization of sports betting in Iowa but the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is prepared for her signature

If approved by Reynolds, the commission will have authority to set the date when Iowa’s first sports bets are made at casinos and online.  Iowa Racing and Gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko says the first step would be to set the rule making process for Iowa bettors.  "The state would look at other jurisdictions in writing the rules and so there are have already authorized sports.  Mississippi, New Jersey and of course Nevada and so the commission would look at what things are working in those jurisdictions and what things aren’t to establish the rules," said Ohorilko.

The second step would be to issue licenses to companies wanting to offer sports betting online and allow them to partner with their choice of Iowa casinos. "I would imagine a number of properties would try to hit that date. Being first to market is pretty important especially in the online mobile application," Ohorilko said.

The commission says those two processes will take a few months.  Without the governor's signature, it is too early for a set date but the commission’s ideal time should make fans excited to bet on the Iowa vs Iowa state football game very happy.  Ohorilko said, "One of the plans would be to try to get things established in August and that’s not to say the commission will rush through the rule making process but if things go the way we hope they go and first bets are taken in August, that will give the public and sports books an opportunity to work through some of the hurdles and issues that might come up prior to football season."

Governor Reynolds will have three days to sign the bill once it officially reaches her desk.  If the legislature ends the session before then, she will have thirty days to sign it into law.

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