Kim Reynolds signs sports betting and fantasy sports bill into law in Iowa

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Prairie Meadows recently finished renovations and is ready to open the states first sports book once the Legislature approves it.
Brian Powers, bpowers@dmreg.com

Placing a bet on your favorite sports team is officially legal after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation Monday allowing gambling on college and professional sports in Iowa.

Reynolds had not previously said whether she would sign the law. Lawmakers passed the measure last month with bipartisan support.

The legislation allows Iowans 21 years and older to wager on sporting events at any of Iowa’s 19 casinos and online if they visit a casino once in person to prove they are at least 21. It also legalizes bets on fantasy sports through websites and apps like DraftKings and FanDuel.

There are certain restrictions. While Iowans can bet on the result of college games, the law does not allow in-game proposition bets on college sports, like how many points a certain player will score.

The legislation follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that struck down a federal ban on sports wagering.

“Gov. Reynolds believes that legalizing sports betting will bring this practice out of an unregulated black market. This law will regulate, tax, and police sports betting in a safe and responsible way,” said the governor’s spokesman, Pat Garrett. 

While the legislation takes effect immediately, some of the rules still need to be ironed out.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which will regulate sports betting in Iowa, previously said it would start to develop rules for casinos to implement after Reynolds signed the legislation. Those rules would likely be implemented in July or August, before college sports and NFL games start in the fall.

The commission would likely use its emergency rule-making procedures, which means the rules would be adopted more quickly than usual. But it would also mean that the Administrative Rules Review Committee could alter the rules later.

The law is the result of months of debate over who should be in charge of the new gambling system. Lawmakers considered at least four competing proposals from the Iowa Lottery, professional sports leagues, the horse racing industry and casinos.  Casinos won.

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Source: Des Moines Register