Late Introduction Of Iowa Online Casino Bill Is Merely To Raise Awareness

Written By Matthew Kredell on March 15, 2023
educate legislators iowa online casino 2023

An Iowa lawmaker refiled his Iowa online casino bill last week. But Iowans hoping to bet from the farm won’t have access to online slots and blackjack anytime soon.

In texts with Playin USA, Rep. Bobby Kaufmann confirmed that he has no intention of trying to pass HSB 227 this session.

He merely refiled his previous online casino legislation to keep the conversation going.

Kaufmann, who backed Iowa sports betting to passage in 2019, has filed Iowa online casino legislation in every session since 2021.

Bill could get subcommittee hearing

The deadline for bills to advance through committee in Iowa has already passed.

Kaufmann was able to introduce this bill because the House Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs, doesn’t have a funnel deadline.

If he were actually trying to move the bill this year, he would have introduced it earlier. Instead, he just wants to get it a subcommittee hearing to continue educating his colleagues on the issue.

Because the bill isn’t going anywhere, he can go right up to the April 28 end of session to hold the hearing.

Asked if he will get the
bill a subcommittee hearing, Kaufmann replied:

“Probably, but I have the rest of the session so I’m not in a hurry.”

Details of the Iowa online casino bill

This is the same bill that Kaufmann introduced last year. Details include:

  • Licenses for 19 existing pari-mutuel racetracks and excursion gambling boats or structures.
  • A $45,000 initial licensing fee renewable annually for $10,000.
  • Each licensee can offer up to two individually branded mobile apps.
  • Provides the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission flexibility to authorize a third skin.

Last year’s bill got a subcommittee hearing in House State Government.

Why Iowa online casino legislation hasn’t progressed

Kaufmann previously told Playin USA that Iowa online casino legislation won’t happen until the casinos are unanimously in support.

That still hasn’t happened. Wes Ehrecke, executive director of the Iowa Gaming Association, told Playin USA that 13 of 19 Iowa casinos support legalizing online casino.

“It’s still not going anywhere but could get a subcommittee hearing,” Ehrecke said. “I think Kaufmann is doing what he did last year to heighten awareness. There’s a lot of new legislators and this provides more opportunities for education on the issue.”

Photo by Playin USA
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Matthew Kredell

Matthew’s reporting on the legalization of sports betting began in 2010 with an article for Playboy Magazine on how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting the expansion of regulated sports betting. After graduating from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Matt started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News. He has written on a variety of topics for Playboy, Men?s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and

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