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Online Gambling in Iowa

In 2015, in Iowa there is still no such thing as “legalised gambling”. Fantasy sports, on the other hand, even though they are forbidden too, will be authorised in 1-2 years, according to various sources.

Betting regulations in Iowa

Iowa is not as lucky as Delaware, Nevada or New Jersey where, as of summer of 2013, Americans received a green light to playing and earning money from online gambling. Even though, users can play games in Iowa, they are no allowed to collect any cash or prizes from their winnings. Everything that is earned by gambling online (poker, casino) is illegal.

In 2012, because of lack of support, a law developed to legalize intrastate online poker was not even considered for a vote. A similar thing happened in 2013. More exactly, the Iowa Code section states that: “1. Except as permitted in chapters 99B [bingo] and 99D [racetracks], a person shall not do any of the following:

(a.) Participate in a game for any sum of money or other property of any value;
(b.) Make any bet;
(c.)  For a fee, directly or indirectly, give or accept anything of value to be wagered or to be transmitted or delivered for a wager to be placed within or without the state of Iowa.

Horse racing: checked

Every state has its own regulations regarding betting on racings, and up until 2013, these were the only legal online gambling activities permitted in the US. Today, placing online wagers on horse racing is legal in most of the American states that are regulated and that are using a pari-mutuel betting system.

You can choose to bet on horses by registering with legal operators such as:

  • Watch and Wager;
  • TVG;
  • Twinspires;
  • Xpressbet;
  • BetAmerica;
  • Derby Jackpot.

Fantasy gambling, more than just a dream

Since 1999, the federal law regards fantasy betting as being legal in the US, and also in Canada, seeing it as a “game of skill”, not gambling. Unfortunately, Iowa is among those state where the law prevents the residents from playing fantasy sports, although it is estimated that 350 000 people were looking forward for the change that took place in March 2015. With a 32-16 votes, the bill regarding daily fantasy sports betting was approved for legalization, but the House declared it ineligible.

The State Senator, Jeff Danielson, is a bit worried about this situation: “Participation in fantasy sports has long been socially acceptable, but our law is stuck in the past.” Being able to play freely is important money-wise, most of all. Users are much more secure and safe if they gamble via a national legal-operating bookmaker.

Watch here a short video about how Jeff Danielson became a real trendsetter in trying to legalize online gambling.

From a social point of view, fantasy betting appears to be rather expected and welcomed, and legal results – awaited, but, that's not going to happen just yet. Not this year, anyway.

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