Iowa Lawmakers Considering Online Gambling in 2022

Iowa online gambling

As a new year approaches, lawmakers in Iowa make it know that online casino gambling will be up for consideration.

Over the past few years, we have seen state lawmakers in the US consider online gambling legislation. Some states have started offering online sports betting, while others have focused on casino games. The casino gaming sector is much slower getting off the ground when compared to sports betting, but it is holding its own. This week, it was made known that legislators in Iowa are considering online gambling legislation in 2022 during the upcoming session, including slots and table games.

Will Legislation Become Law?

While it seems, online gambling is going to be on the table in 2022, it may be quite some time before we actually see a law come to pass. State Representative Bobby Kaufmann said recently that the issue will be looked at during the upcoming session, but it might be a few years before legalization is adopted.

The senator seems to think a study is in order to get everyone on board with the idea, including stakeholders. Currently, the casino industry in Iowa is split on the idea of iGaming. Some would like to add the option so they can attract the younger demographic. This side feels that with online gambling, they could bring in younger players and pull them to the physical venues as well.

Those who are opposed feel that the option would hinder the land-based market. This has always been an argument when the idea of iGaming is mentioned in any state. Some land-based providers feel that online gaming would take away from their earnings. However, time after time, this argument has been proven wrong.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission are neutral on the topic. They feel that any expansion should be left up to legislators. According to the Iowa Gaming Association CEO and President, Wes Ehrecke, there are eight companies in favor and four that are opposed to the idea.

The CEO says it will take time to get everyone on board. He does feel that Iowa has a lot to learn, and it makes sense to look at states that already have online casino gaming.

Wild Rose Casino Supports the Idea

One of the supporters of the legalization of online casino gaming is Wild Rose Casino and Resort’s president, and CEO, Tom Timmons. The casino is in favor of adding online casino games after seeing what is provided in the US and what is happening in states that offer it.

Timmons would rather see Iowa start offering the service now instead of being one of the last states to get in on the action. He feels that land-based casinos will continue to see a decrease in visitors regardless of whether iGaming is offered or not. Allowing the option will bring in younger patrons, which is what is needed right now.

The CEO pointed out that younger people live differently than other generations, using their mobile phones and computers for entertainment. It is important for the industry to update what it offers so that as the years go by, there are ways to attract the younger crowd to casino gaming.

It will be interesting to watch Iowa’s progression and how it deals with the discussion of online gambling. Will there be enough support to push the idea forward? Will it take years and multiple studies to get the option off the ground or will lawmakers and operators come to a consensus that will see online gambling come to fruition sooner rather than later? We will keep an eye out and report on any new findings as the information is made available.

Associate Writer: Geoff enjoys both live and online poker as well as casino games, and is particularly knowledgeable about the legal landscape of online gambling.