Iowa Lawmakers Writing a New Sports Betting Bill

Lawmakers from the state of Iowa have issued four different sports betting bills that have been debated this week with the intention to turn one of them into law.

But, since none of them got approved after many hours of discussion, legislators have decided to write an entirely new bill…

…that will have to go through the same introductory process as the previous four.

A Completely New Bill

“We’re being very transparent, having a slow process, making sure everybody has ample time to give their thoughts, pros, and cons on these different plans,” Senator, Roby Smith, said.

The Senator chairs the Senate State Government Committee, which discussed the four gambling bills this Wednesday. Representatives from Iowa Lottery, casinos, professional sports leagues and the horse racing industry were also present at the discussion…

…with the intention of showing why they are the best choice to operate the Iowa sportsbooks.

Senator Smith, along with his House colleague, Representative Bobby Kaufman, said that they will introduce a new bill. The plan is to use all the information they’ve gathered from the four bills mentioned in the discussion…

…and that they will put together an entirely new one by the end of the month.

They both said that they will try to keep both of their proposals as similar as possible.

A Word from the Representative

“My goal is to have a final bill out of committee by the end of February,” Representative Kaufmann said.

“While we might have competing interests as far as where we want the bill to go we’re trying to keep in sync because him passing a bill to us and us amending it and passing it back, that’s a quick way to get this issue to go away,” Kaufmann added.

A Smart Move

Keith Miller, a professor from Drake Law School who has researched gambling in the past 10 years, believes that this is a good decision and a good Senate strategy.

“No one will be able to say that they didn’t have input. Nobody scored a knockout punch. None of the proposals were so overwhelmingly persuasive that I thought to myself, ‘Boy, that is really going to be difficult to overcome. It will be impossible to reconcile all these competing interests. There are going to be some people who are unhappy,” Professor Miller said.

Miller also added that the bill should include the plan for the establishment of the fund that would go to the treatment of gambling disorders, especially in young people.

“Young people are at risk for developing gambling disorders and I think, my view is it’s really important to have dedicated monies directed toward prevention, treatment, research. It’s not enough to say, ‘Hey, 1-800-BETS OFF,” he added.

William Hill to Launch in Iowa

Although sports betting is not fully legal yet, Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Iowa has already partnered up with William Hill

…about providing the casino with sportsbook operations at the venue.

“We are excited about the prospect of sports betting in Iowa and are thrilled to partner with Prairie Meadows to be ready for the day when sports betting is legal in the state. We are building a first-class sportsbook that will make Prairie Meadows the place to bet and watch the games,” US Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, Joe Asher, commented.


“Iowa lawmakers are writing a whole new bill on sports betting after debates this week”, Stephen Gruber-Miller,, February 7, 2019.

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