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Regulators Plan Final Vote On Iowa Sports Betting

Casinos like the Isle of Capri are making plans to be ready for sports betting once the final rules are approved.
Dustin Oliver
Casinos like the Isle of Capri in Waterloo are making plans to be ready for sports betting once the final rules are approved.

State regulators will vote later this month on rules allowing sports betting in Iowa, fulfilling a law passed this year by the legislature. If the guidelines are adopted by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, the first wagers could be made as soon as mid-August.

Most of the rules cover casinos and companies that contract sports betting technology. They explain how companies should apply for a license with the state and regulators’ expectations for keeping information systems secure.

The rules also tell casinos and race tracks to create designated areas for sports betting where people can register before placing bets in person or on mobile apps. According to commission administrator Brian Ohorilko, people who want to gamble on sports will have to be over 21-years-old and within Iowa’s borders, even if they’re betting on their phone.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a river boundary or a land boundary, they will be precise,” Ohorilko said. “And if someone is attempting a wager outside of the state that attempt will be denied.”

At recent meetings, Iowa casinos have gotten approval for renovations to build sports betting venues and permission to for contracts with companies like Betfred and William Hill to provide their sports betting infrastructure.

The commission is expected to vote on its sports betting rules at a meeting July 30. Iowa is one of 16 states along with the District of Columbia that has approved some form of sports gambling after a federal ban was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Grant Gerlock is a reporter covering Des Moines and central Iowa