All bets are on as Iowa is set to legalize sports gambling at noon Thursday.
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed SF 617 in May, laying the track for Iowa to join 10 other states with legalized sports betting. The law permits wagering on college and professional sports, though betting on in-play actions for college sports is prohibited if the team is linked to players or teams that are playing for or against a school in the state of Iowa.
Furthermore, mobile-app-based betting is permitted under the law, meaning Iowans do not need to always go to one of the 18 brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the state, opening sports books to place bets moving forward. However, gamblers must be 21 years old in order to legally wager, travel to a casino to prove their eligibility before gambling and set up an account for their mobile access.
The Iowa Gaming Commission, which is set to regulate sports betting throughout the state, published a list of pre-approved wagers — in other words, which types of bets can be made for certain sports and leagues.
The Feb. 2019 Iowa Poll for the Des Moines Register and Mediacom found the majority of Iowans do not support the move to legalize sports betting. 52% oppose professional sports betting, and 40% of people are in favor. The number opposed rises to 68% for college sports betting.
Only 4% of Iowans said they frequently bet on sports “like a March Madness pool or a friendly wager over who wins the Super Bowl or other football games.”
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 13% of adult Iowans “have experienced a problem related to their gambling.”
The Iowa Administrative Rules Review Committee agreed Monday to delay rules under the state’s sports betting law allowing for the collection of winnings from gamblers who owe child support, back taxes or criminal debt.
In a gambling treatment program under the auspices of the Department of Public Health, Iowans who believe they have a gambling problem can call (1-800) BETS-OFF or text (855) 895-8398.