The administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission says the rule-making process to allow legalized sports betting in the state is moving along on schedule.
Administrator Brian Ohorilko gave an update on the process at today’s meeting in Northwood, and spoke about it in an interview with Radio Iowa. “We believe we’ll have rules published here in the next few weeks. Draft rules are in place and we’re still working through some of the details in those. The goal is to have these rules published here in the next few weeks,” Ohorilko explains.
The governor signed the sports gambling bill into law in May that allows you to place a bet at one of the 19 state-licensed casinos or online. Ohorilko says they will hold a public hearing on the rules at their July 11th meeting — and then could vote on approving the rules at the end of July.
“The commission has scheduled a special meeting on July 30th to deal with matters related to sports wagering,” according to Ohorilko. “That could be a meeting — depending on how well the rules process goes — where the commission could review and consider those rules for emergency adopt.”
He says it is possible you might be able to legally place a bet in Iowa on the first college football games of the year. “If emergency rules were adopted at the end of July, there would likely be a period of time for casinos to get controls approved and their partners licensed,” Ohorilko explains. “…that may take a few weeks, so we are still looking at mid-August, sometime before college football season.”
Ohorilko says that timeline is based on everything falling into place without delay. “There’s still a lot of things that need to fall into place. The commission is not wanting to cut corners on any of this, and so those things need to happen. But if they do, I think it still is reasonable to anticipate a go live date is prior to the college football season,” Ohorilko says.
He says they have been reviewing how other states have handled this in the last several years as it was an issue in the legislature before finally being approved. Ohorilko says having the process in other states will also help in setting up the companies here.
“We’ve received a number of applications from people who are partnering with casino companies that are licensed in other jurisdictions. That also is helpful because those companies that have received licenses in other jurisdictions are used to being regulated, they’ve had backgrounds in those other jurisdictions, so that is helpful in this process,” Ohorilko says.
The IRGC’s July 11th meeting will be held at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona.