Sports betting is rapidly evolving. From bookies taking bets manually at bars, or through phone calls, most modern bookmakers just use bookie software. This is to take wagers, and to use mobile sports betting. And it does not even take a lot of money or technical knowledge to build and learn how to be a bookie. A pay per head bookie can run their sportsbook through a specialized software for a small fee.
And with more markets opening up, it’s hardly surprising to see legislation to include online and mobile wagering. Iowa’s legislation is a perfect example of this, where the Senate recently passed a bill to legalize sports betting. This bill, which has a 31-18 vote, will allow in-person and mobile sports betting.
Mobile Sports Betting in Iowa
The House will still have to vote on the bill. The House and the Senate both have bills on the same matter in each chamber, and must aim to have the same content. The Senate has SF617, while the House has HF748.
Senator Roby Smith sponsored SF617, who says that this bill is mostly to protect consumers. As for the taxes, there will be a low 6.75% tax on sports betting revenue.
There will also be another 0.75% tax on revenue for charitable causes. The initial licensing fee will be $45,000 plus a $10,000 annual renewal. The amount that they collect will go to a Sports Fund, with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission as the regulator.
Senator Smith says that the citizens deserve to have a product that is enjoyable and safe. Mobile betting will be allowed, as mentioned earlier. But to do so, Iowans will have to register in-person at the casinos until the end of 2020.
The legislation also wants to ban bets on college teams from Iowa, but only mentions prop bets, and no in-game bets for state teams. There has been discussion on this, to fix the language, and/or, to prohibit all college sports across the board. Until the bill passes into law at the top level, we won’t know what will happen.