Iowa is another step closer to legalized sports betting. The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Senate passed Bill 1168 through subcommittee, and is now ready for a vote by the entire chamber.
The bill, introduced by State Senator Roby Smith, a Republican, would put casinos in charge of offering sports betting at their venues, as well as online and through mobile betting. College and Professional sports would be open to wagering, and youth sports, minor leagues and amateur sports would be restricted.
The Register reports that not everyone is for the bill. While the casinos favor it, the MLB, NBA and PGA Tour have lobbied against it.
Smith wrote the bill to favor the casinos because he believes their experience gives sports betting the best chance of being introduced in the right way. “What’s important for me in this bill is that it ensures integrity but most importantly the safety and protection of those that participate in sports wagering,” Smith said.
Like many bills, this one would require punters to visit a casino to register before they could use the online and mobile apps on offer. Interestingly, the bill sunsets this requirement after 18 months, potentially opening up the action much more down the road.
Democrat Tony Bisignano also appears to support the idea of the bill, but stressed that he would like some of the profits to go towards charity. As a result, he voted against it in subcommittee.
The Iowa House of Representatives does not have a bill currently introduced to go along with Bill 1168, but Representative Bobby Kaufman is working on one that will be “at 90 percent agreement” with it, without much problems to bring the two versions together expected.
Assuming some kind of sports betting bill gets passed, William Hill is ready for it. The operator has already partnered with Iowa’s Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino to offer sports wagering once it is allowed.