In a promising move towards legalizing sports betting Iowa Senate has approved a bill that calls for regulating sports betting in the state. On Wednesday night, the Senate voted 31-18 in favor of the bill legalizing sports betting.
The bill had a mixed response as the idea of legalizing sports betting in the state did not resonate with any one party’s agenda. As such, the bill saw a mix of support and opposition from both the Democrats and the Republicans.
Though it takes the state a step further towards legalizing sports betting, betting on college tournaments and minor leagues are not included. This means that even when the bill is enacted and enshrined as law, only pro games will be open for placing sports wagers.
Those who supported the bill said that legalization of sports betting will shrink the current black market and will also help state earn significant tax revenues which it is losing every year.
The supporters also faced tough questions from those opposing the bill as they said that the new bill would only lead to corruption in sports and it is just a measure to expand gambling.
Standing in favor of sports betting legalization, Senator Roby Smith, R-Davenport, said that “Sports wagering will no longer be acceptable in the dark. The sun is shining, and Iowans will be able to participate legally and responsibly.”
Opposing the bill Senator Claire Celsi, expressed her concerns and said: “I have met quite a few Iowans who have experienced gambling addiction.”
“We already have phone addiction. This is just merging the two, gambling and phones, which, to me, seems like a very bad idea,” she added.