An Iowa casino is gearing preparations to build a sportsbook as state lawmakers are debating the legalization and regulation of sports betting
Local television station KCRG reports that the state Racing and Gaming Commission is set to review two contracts next week that, if approved, would allow Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington to build and operate a sports betting facility, should the practice become legal in Iowa.
One of the contracts would authorize the construction of the sportsbook by Minnesota-based company DesignWise to design and build Catfish Bend’s sportsbook. The company specializes in the provision of interior design products and services for the hospitality and commercial industries.
The other contract would pave the way for New Jersey sports betting company PointsBet to enter Iowa’s sports gambling market as the operator of Catfish Bend’s sports betting facility. Originally founded in Australia, PointsBet launched its sports betting operation in New Jersey early this year. Encouraged by the growth of the New Jersey wagering market, the operator is now exploring expansion opportunities across the United States.
Iowa is one of many states currently discussing the legalization of sports betting on their territories. A number of states have already legalized the practice in the wake of last May’s ruling of the US Supreme Court that struck down the long-standing federal prohibition on sports wagering.
Iowa’s Sports Betting Bills
A House and a Senate versions of a bill for the legalization and regulation of sports betting are currently under discussion in the chambers of the state’s Legislature. Most recently, the Senate version of the piece of legislation was recommended for passage by the Senate Ways and Means subcommittee.
Sponsored by Sen. Roby Smith, SF 366 calls for the regulation of both in-person and digital sports betting in the state. Legal betting services will be taxed at 6.75% on annual gross revenue, if the legislation survives through all pending legislative hurdles.
SF 366 now needs to be passed in the Ways and Means Committee in order to advance to the full Senate floor. Once it moves from the Ways and Means Committee, the piece will be in line with its House counterpart.
Iowa’s regular legislative session is slated to end on May 3 and lawmakers have up until then to advance a sports betting bill through the Legislature. The piece will also need Gov. Kim Reynolds’ signature. The state’s top official has previously said she thinks sports betting should be regulated in Iowa. Sen. Smith has said he is optimistic that Gov. Reynold will sign the legislation into law.
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Terry Davis holds a degree in Psychology, but it was after his graduation that he found his real passion – writing. Previously, he worked for a local news magazine.