IOWA SENATE GOES FOR LEGALISED SPORTSBETTING
5 February 2010
But there's a long road to travel yet
Moves In the state of Iowa to legalise sports betting as
a means of raising tax revenues to cut budgetary gaps
(see previous InfoPowa report) have made an unexpected
move forward with a positive state Senate committee
vote, although observers say there's still a way to go
and many obstacles ahead.
The measure that has
passed committee would allow betting on professional
sports at the state's 17 casinos, reports Associated
Press. It now advances to the full Senate State
"We've heard about sports
betting since I was a pup," said Senate President Jack
Kibbie, a Republican. "It's already legal in many
foreign countries. I'm just saying why not Iowa?"
The bill is among several gambling proposals being
considered by lawmakers as they look to find money to
close a budget shortfall estimated at $400 million or
Kibbie argued that underground betting
already is common in Iowa, and that the state misses out
on potential tax collections.
Only four states --
Delaware, Nevada, Oregon and Montana - had laws on the
books allowing sports betting when Congress approved a
ban on sports betting in 1992. Those states were allowed
to continue, but others can't move on the issue unless
Congress repeals that ban.
are already pushing a plan that could generate an
additional $25 million by charging casinos a fee to
avoid referendums now required to maintain their
licenses. The proposal also allows an expansion of areas
in casinos where gambling is allowed.
said they were leery of expanding gambling, considering
how many options already were available in Iowa.
"We've got ample gambling in this state," said Sen.
James Seymour, the Republican representative from
Woodbine. "I'm opposed to expanded gambling."
Seymour, who voted for the plan in the subcommittee
meeting, said he might oppose it later.