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Restrictive Iowa Sports Betting Requirement Set To Expire On January 1

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New Year’s Day often motivates goal-minded individuals to set resolutions to achieve over the following 365 days. Quitting smoking, starting a diet, or beginning a workout regimen are the resolutions that appear most frequently, and a majority of the time, those aspirations are discarded before January ends.

Iowa was quick to regulate domestic sports betting back in 2019, and their mobile betting apps are now available to residents and visitors to the state. New Year’s Day will mark the end of a pesky regulation that has been attached to these applications since they debuted.

In August of 2019, when sports betting in Iowa became legal, the sportsbook apps that were made available required customers to travel to a casino to download the software.

Iowa bettors did not have the option of registering and downloading the app unless their phone or device could be geo-tracked and certified to be inside the location of one of the Hawkeye State’s participating domestic casinos.

This was not a problem for residents that lived near an Iowa sportsbook location, but for bettors that were not within reasonable driving distance of one of the state’s 18 casinos that offer the sports betting app, options were far from convenient.

This requirement continued on through the COVID-19 lockdown and caused for new members to have difficulties joining up with state-sponsored sportsbooks, likely causing them to look to another region for betting options.

The proof is in the data. Iowa tax intake on sports betting revenue totaled out at $1.3 million after just 5 months of operation in 2019.

Comparing that to the $1.8 million that domestic sportsbooks in Iowa contributed to state tax coffers over the first ten months of 2020 and the impact of COVID-19 is obvious.

Although the information is difficult to track, it is highly likely that a large number of wagers were placed online in Iowa using offshore sports betting sites. Neither federal nor Iowa state gambling laws feature language in place to prevent international sportsbooks from taking bets on sports over the web from Iowans.

Instead of calling for a special session to correct their error, Iowa state lawmakers allowed for the signup restriction to remain in place. Luckily for bettors in IA, there is language built into the law that allows for this restriction to lapse on January 1, 2021.

Tomorrow not only marks the beginning of a brand new year, but it will also be the day that Iowa is granted the freedom to register with IA’s sports betting app from anywhere inside of the Hawkeye State’s borders.

This will certainly cause an immediate uptick in online members, and it will be interesting to monitor the revenue once the reports come in for January.

While the expiration of this restrictive regulation will take the reigns off of sports betting in IA, international sportsbook sites will remain relevant. That’s because they offer lines that Iowa sportsbooks can’t, such as odds on political outcomes, and entertainment betting lines that allow for wagers to be placed on professional wrestling, reality television competition shows, awards ceremonies like the Emmys and the Oscars, as well as celebrity divorce odds.

Still, Iowa is moving in a direction that will increase their revenue collections and keep as much of their domestic betting business in-state> Iowa is also keeping their sports bettors off the road and safe inside their homes.

Source: Des Moines Register

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