Legislators in the state of Iowa have introduced a new bill that seeks to regulate online casinos. Right now, online sports betting is legal but online casinos are yet to foray into the Hawkeye State.
This will cement Iowa as the seventh state that allows iGaming in the United States. While online sports betting continues to be proliferated, iGaming remains restricted to a handful of states. The markets where online casinos are legal currently include Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Right now, Iowa’s land-based industry supports 17,420 jobs and has an estimated commercial impact of $2.8 billion. Online casino gaming is expected to bolster these numbers.
Operators Will Be Able to Launch 1-3 Brands in the State
The measure, nicknamed House Study Bill 227, would allow gambling companies to launch their products in the state through agreements with local entities. Companies that wish to offer their products in Iowa must pay $45,000 for a license. Once licensed, gambling firms also have to pay an annual renewal fee of $10,000 to keep offering advance deposit gambling games in the state.
If passed, the bill will allow operators to launch one or two of their brands in Iowa. Under certain circumstances, the Iowa Gaming Commission may authorize companies to launch a third brand, the bill reads.
Iowa Will Prioritize Player Safety
As defined by the bill, “advanced deposit gambling games” are a type of wagering on games where the player may deposit money into an account and leverage that account balance to participate in games of chance. These games, the House Study Bill 227 clarifies, are online games played by electronic means, such as tablets, smartphones and computers.
The bill would allow an eligible individual, defined as an individual 21 years of age or older who is located within this state, to placed an advanced deposit gambling games wager from any location within this state by telephone, a computer, through the internet, or by other electronic means.
House Study Bill 227 excerpt
In addition, the bill starts by pointing out that a process by which a person can exclude themselves from gambling will be established. Iowa’s self-exclusion scheme would see participants cut themselves off from gambling for five years. Subsequent self-exclusion requests following the expiry of the initial period would see players excluded for five more years.
In addition, the bill, if passed, would require licensees to provide their customers with the problem gambling information needed to make informed decisions. Furthermore, companies should have built-in tools that help players moderate their spending and playtime.