Gambling in Iowa

Gambling Laws in Iowa concerning Casinos, Lotteries, Fantasy Sports

Some US state’s gambling laws are really strict. Thankfully, Iowa gambling laws are on the permitting side when it comes to casinos and lotteries.

Casino Gambling and Betting in Iowa

Iowa gambling laws are among the most liberal in the United States. Keeping the prescribed Iowan gambling laws, citizens have plenty of opportunities to engage in gambling. Betting on horse and dog racing has been legal since the implementation of The Pari-mutuel Wagering Act in 1983. The same act established the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission, consisting of five members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Iowa Senate. The Commission supervises all racing and gambling related ventures that are subject to Iowa Code Chapters 99D and 99F. “The system of wagering on the results of horse or dog races […] is legal at licensed horse-race or dog-race meeting,” puts Iowa Code Chapter 99D. The legalization of casino gambling in Iowa came between 1990-1991. It all started when the Commission licensed five entities to provide boat gambling. In 1991, the first riverboat casinos opened for business and laws allowed for counties to hold independent referendums about the opening of casinos on their land. Ever since then, more and more casinos have opened, as they can bring considerable revenue for the counties development. Social Poker in Iowa is also allowed, but only if complying with the USD 50 maximum profit rule. 2015 marked the opening of the 19th casino site.

Online Gambling in Iowa

Gambling laws don’t allow for online gambling in Iowa. However, most US gambling news says that the chances are high for the licensing of online casinos in Iowa. Currently, there are no specific gambling laws concerning online gambling in Iowa; however, the existing ones can be successfully applied to it. This fact does not discourage some online casinos to accept Iowan members. Since 2011, the government showed strong interest in online gambling. Following the legalization of online gambling in New Jersey, Iowa was forecasted to follow in the Garden State’s path. As of now, the Iowa still doesn’t have a legal framework for online gambling. Efforts were made by the following bills: legalization of online poker in Iowa – SSB1068; internet poker in Iowa – SF2275.

Lotteries in Iowa

Lotteries in Iowa have been legal since 1985. The corresponding Iowa gambling laws were altered in 2003, by the implementation of the Iowa Lottery Authority Act. The lottery act established the Iowa Lottery Authority, a body that shall be deemed a state agency only under specific laws. Iowa participates in multi-state lotto drawings as well, including Powerball (since 1992) and Mega Millions (since 2009). The organization of the Iowa Online Lottery started in 2014, and the CEO of the Iowa Lottery, Terry Rich, confirmed it when saying that “we know it’s coming. It will happen”. It’s important to note that lottery fraud and age restrictions are taken extremely seriously in Iowa.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Iowa

Lawmakers are currently working on the legalization of daily fantasy sports in Iowa. The state hopes for a good framework and considerable tax income from the popular games. As of now, Iowa is among the few states where Daily Fantasy Sports are illegal. Iowa was one of the main targets of Fantasy Sports Freedom, an organization urging the legalization of the games. “We’re not opposed to daily fantasy sports in Iowa but it needs to be regulated,” said Wes Ehrecke, CEO of Iowa Gaming Association. However, currently “there’s several unanswered questions before any bill should go through,” he added. Until Iowa decides on Daily Fantasy Sports, none of the leading sites accept Iowan players.

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