State legislative bills that allow online entertainment or pre-deposit online entertainment may not have the votes needed to pass the Iowa legislature.
Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association, told Top US Casinos.com that the bill (House Study Bill 604) does not have a chance of becoming law this session.
The IGA is neutral on this iGaming bill; it is certain that HSB 604 will not move forward this session, Ehrecke said in an email. After passing a subcommittee hearing last week, I’m not sure it will be on the House State Government Committee agenda.
The bill is intended to allow pari-mutuel facilities in the state, as well as gaming vessels and structures, to apply for pre-deposit gaming applications, which require an initial fee of $45,000, and an annual renewal fee of $10,000.
Approved operators will be allowed to launch up to two mobile applications while giving the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission full authority to determine whether operators can access a third skin.
The bill was introduced on Jan. 25 and then went to committee on Feb. 3.
The legislation was approved by representatives of several of the state’s online casinos, such as Boyd Gaming (Peninsula Gaming LLC/Dubuque Diamond Jo & Diamond Jo Worth), Wild Rose Entertainment, LLC, Great River Entertainment, Penn National Gaming/Ameristar and Caesars Corporate Services.
Wild Rose Entertainment announced in October that it is partnering with PlayUp, headquartered in Australia, to offer iGaming in Iowa after legalization.
This year’s online casino effort was opposed by some churches and community organizations, in addition to some racetracks and gaming venues – who expressed concern about the bill’s impact on the industry’s food, beverage and hotel revenues, among other things.
Online casino games where legal in the United States
The bill would pave the way for Iowa to become the seventh state to introduce online casino gaming, following Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
New Jersey Online Entertainment reported revenues of more than $130 million in December.
In a neighboring state to Iowa, Michigan’s online casinos posted record revenues of $121.8 million in December.
Iowa’s sports betting market has been a top 10 market in the country since its launch, ranking 10th in volume ($2.829B). Iowa’s sports betting transactions in December of last year were $266.5 million.
However, it appears that the Hawkeye State will have to wait a little longer to see online casino games legalized within its borders.
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