Iowa Gaming Regulator to Reportedly Review Sportsbook Plan

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An Iowa-based casino is reportedly preparing to build a sportsbook amidst debates on whether or not to legalized and regulate sports betting in the state. According to a recent report, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission plans two review two contracts in the coming week. If approved, the two contracts will give Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington, the green light to establish and operate a sports betting facility – this is on condition that the state chooses to legalize sports betting.

One of the proposed contracts seeks to authorize the construction of the Catfish Bend Casino sportsbook by Minnesota-based company DesignWise – the company, if approved to continue with the plans for the project, will be responsible for both the design and construction of the sportsbook. Designwise is known to specialize in the provision of interior design products and services for the hospitality and commercial industries.

The second contract, if approved, will allow New Jersey-based sports betting company PointsBet to enter the Iowan sports betting market as the operators of Catfish Bend Casino’s yet-to-be established sportsbook. PointsBet was founded in Australia and only just recently launched its sports betting operation in New Jersey where it has been welcomed very warmly. The proposed venture into the Iowan sports betting market if part of the company’s bid to expand into various markets across the United States.

Is There Any Hope for Sports Betting in Iowa?

As mentioned earlier, Iowa is one of the states are now holding discussions on whether or not they should legalize sports betting. As it stands, a decent number of states have already legalized sports betting since the United States Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in May last year.

Iowa’s legislature is currently discussing House and Senate versions of a bill that seeks to have sports betting legalized and regulated in the state. The Senate version of the sports betting bill has already been recommended for passage by the Iowa Senate Ways and Means and Means subcommittee.

According to Senator Roby Smith, the sponsor of SF 366 bill, the state might be able to soon allow both in-person and online sports betting. The bill also stipulates that legal betting services be taxed at 6.75 percent on annual gross revenue, that is if the legislation manages to make it through all the pending legislative hurdles.

Now, the bill has to pass in the Ways and Means Committee before it can be advanced to the full Senate floor after which it will in line with its House counterpart. Also, with the 2019 legislative session set to come to an end on May 3, the lawmakers have a relatively small amount of time left to advance the sports betting bill through the legislature. Moreover, the bill will have to be signed into law by Governor Kim Reynold – this is rather likely as the governor has in previous occasions expressed support for the need for sports betting regulation in Iowa.