Statewide Iowa — (RI) —┬áThe 2019 Iowa legislature convenes on Monday and odds are that lawmakers will consider a bill to make it legal to bet on sporting events.

That’s Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, a Republican from Ankeny who decides which bills get debated in the state senate. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May that ALL states may legalize wagering on sporting events.

Over the past couple of years, casino industry lobbists urged Iowa legislators to prepare for the Supreme Court’s ruling and set up a system that would give the state-licensed casinos authority run sports book operations. New Jersey and Delaware immediately legalized sports betting this past spring and Whitver says Iowa casinos seem the likely host for wagering on sports — if it’s legalized here.

Iowa Lottery officials say several of the state’s largest lottery retailers want the option of offering a sports lottery — similar. perhaps, to the one now legal in Delaware. Whitver says it “makes more sense” to have sports wagering managed by the casinos.

Estimates indicate Americans illegally bet hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars on sporting events every year. Bills to legalize sports betting in Iowa have been introduced in the Iowa legislature since 2010, but none advanced beyond the committee level.

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