However, Wes Ehrecke – president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) cautioned that the conversation is still at a very early stage. Although the topic was initiated earlier in the year, 2022 had been identified as a possibility, however, nothing is concrete.
What is most likely according to Ehrecke, is that the IGA won’t necessarily introduce any kind of legislation, even though it is possible, while brick and mortar casinos will not be affected, even if online gambling is approved.
Is online gambling likely in Iowa?
With neighbouring Illinois having recently approved online gambling, legislation in the US appears to be following somewhat of a pattern, gradually heading west, from the east coast, with Pennsylvania and Michigan also passing bills in recent years. It should be noted, meanwhile, that online sports betting in Iowa is allowed.
As a result, it could be that Iowans are crossing state lines into Illinois to play at online casinos on their phone, very much in the same way that New Yorkers currently do, by commuting to New Jersey to place sports bets. It has since led to New York passing its own mobile sports betting bill, which could launch by February.
Online gambling has become somewhat of a hot topic in the US, especially as states begin to realise how much that they can make in revenue, through taxing the gambling companies that operate there – something that the state of Michigan is currently finding out, since going live in January.
Authorities in Iowa are unlikely to ignore such a large source of potential income if they can be convinced that there is a demand there, which could well help to expedite the situation.
Ehrecke though did shed some light on the matter stating: “We have some of our members that support looking at it; there are others that are opposed.
“They have questions and thoughts and so this is going to need to evolve over the next year or two before any serious legislation or consideration would happen.”
A former Press Association Sports Journalist (NCTJ – National Council for the Training of Journalists), now based in Lisbon, Matt also has over a decade of experience working with the top operator brands. These include Coral, BetVictor, and numerous others, having held a number of senior positions and still retains strong industry relationships. He enjoys reading, writing, travelling, all things business, sport, meeting new people, learning new things and also holds football coaching qualifications.