The implementation of legalized sports betting in the state will cost each of the state-licensed casinos a little more for state regulation.
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission administrator, Brian Ohorilko says an extra $275,000 will be collected. “That would be shared by the 19 casino licensees and the fantasy sports operators. At this point we don’t know how many fantasy sports operators there will be — but that total cost will be shared between all of the licensees,” Ohorilko says.
He says casinos already pay regulations fees each year. “The cost of regulation, none of that comes from the general fund. It all comes directly from fees that are charged to the licensees, and that total budget is something that is appropriated by the legislature,” Ohorilko says.
The regulation fees charged to the casinos for the current fiscal year totals$6.7 million. “It is an actual cost for regulation,” according to Ohorilko. “So in other words, if a property has two gaming regulators on site, they will pay for two individuals.” Ohorilko says each casino has different regulation needs.
“A larger property will have a higher regulatory fee than a property that is not as busy,” Ohorilko explains. “In addition to that there is a large portion of the reg fees that are allocated and paid for by the race tracks. Racing regulation is significant because there is drug testing that takes place for first and second place horses.” The racing fees pay for the veterinarians that run the drug testing.
Ohorilko says there are state regulators with specialty training in slot machines and other games assigned to oversee each of the casinos based on their individual need. “A regulatory fee in the state of Iowa for most casinos will range between four and six thousand dollars a week. The racetracks pay significantly more due to that increased cost in drug testing,” Ohorilko says. A portion of the regulatory fees also funds the salaries of the administrative staff of the IRGC.
The commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed sports gambling rules at its July 11th meeting in Altoona.