Iowa In Line To Be 9th State To Legalize Sports Wagering
Iowa, a state that had been projected to have some chance of legalizing sports wagering in 2019, is close to the finish line. On April 17, the Iowa Senate approved a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state. Now, the debate shifts to the Iowa House to approve the measure or something similar before moving to the governor for her signature.
“Sports wagering will no longer be acceptable in the dark. The sun is shining and Iowans will be able to participate legally and [responsibly],” said Iowa Senator Roby Smith.
The current proposed law in Iowa would allow both sports wagering at the state’s nineteen casinos and online/through mobile devices. However, it is somewhat conservative by way of its ban on placing wagers on in-game prop bets that involve Iowa college teams.
Sports betting operators would be required to pay an initial $45,000 licensing fee (and another $10,000 annual renewal fee) to offer products to the public, and will be taxed at 6.75% on their winnings. That is a very reasonable tax rate, identical to Nevada, which should allow regulated sports betting operators room to better compete against offshore entities that do not need to contend with such taxes based on their illegality.
There contains no licensing/royalty fee for the major U.S. professional sports leagues, which counts as another loss in their collective lobbying efforts.
Interestingly, the bill also proposes officially legalizing paid fantasy sports competitions, which are currently prohibited in Iowa.