Iowa Gaming Association Pushes For Online Gambling Legislation

  • Iowa’s gambling organizations are considering attempting to legalize online gambling.
  • Any such effort would have to involve convincing the Iowa Legislature that this was a good idea.
  • Iowa’s legislative session begins on Jan. 10, 2022.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa will be the site of an attempt to legalize online gambling in 2022, according to Wes Ehrecke, the president of the Iowa Gaming Association.

Speaking to Axios, Ehrecke noted that getting legislative approval would be the main roadblock in legalizing online gambling in Iowa.

What Types Of Gambling Are Legal In Iowa?

Iowa legalized sports betting only a few years ago, and both retail and mobile sportsbooks are available. There are 12 sportsbook apps and they have removed the in-person registration requirement that previously limited signups for sports betting.

Daily fantasy sports contests may be conducted inside the state, and they have approved a large variety of contests over a large variety of sports. Iowa also has a state lottery, as well as regulated pari-mutuel wagering, and riverboat casinos that have been active for three decades.

The casinos posted a record year in 2021, which could indicate enhanced demand for casino products - demand that could be met by online gambling.

What Could Become Legal In Iowa?

Details of any specific plan to regulate online gambling in Iowa are murky, and what little is known comes from industry officials, not lawmakers. It is the lawmakers who are going to be the important group here, however, as they are the ones who ultimately decide what gets legalized.

Per Axios, there could be some pushback from some Iowa casinos that are already established, and those that benefit from their existence. Online gambling expansion could mean fewer customers at the physical casinos, which could negatively impact towns that rely on them as economic engines.

Expect this story to continue to develop as the Iowa legislative session, which begins on Jan. 10, 2022, draws closer.