- Iowa could get online casino gaming soon as casino officials in the state start taking steps to bring it to lawmakers in the state.
- Online casino gambling would help with revenue in the state and after seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would allow players to gamble while at home.
- Lawmakers will not be back in session until the start of 2021 so that is when the pitch can be made.
DES MOINES, IA - Iowa is considering adding online casino gaming for residents after their successful launch of online sports betting in August 2019.
Many states have been interested in taking the next step of bringing online gambling to their states' online market at a time where online operators are thriving.
“We’re just in the very beginning stages,” said Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Casino Association. “We’re just trying to get the gaming companies in the state to talk through this and prioritize our issues for 2021.”
The coronavirus pandemic affected gaming revenue around the country because of the enforced shutdowns. Iowa has 19 commercial casinos and 13 of them have mobile sports betting apps.
Having those online betting platforms helped keep the state-regulated gaming industry afloat throughout the shutdowns. Bringing USA online gambling to Iowa would be an added convenience for residents who love casino games and for future emergencies.
“God forbid we’d ever have to close the doors again because of the coronavirus,” said Ehrecke. “We could have a shelter in place and I think this could really help to have this option going forward and for people being able to wager via their mobile compared to coming into the retail. It could be a good blend of both.”
The state’s casinos and Ehrecke will have to wait until the next legislative session to make a case for online casino gambling which is not until next year. Lawmakers will return to session on Jan 11, 2021, because the Iowa Legislation has adjourned for the year 2020.
“We’re going to get legislation drafted to have all my members vet so we can get as unified as possible,” Ehrecke said. “Have the main talking points as unified as possible so we can all be on the same page to bring forth why this is a good thing to consider doing, and to see what kind of interest there may be.”
Ehrecke and his staff will have to use this time to prepare their pitch but they also have to wait until after this November election to know who the leadership will be and create a solid plan for Iowa’s online gambling expansion.