An Iowa online casino bill, HSB227, emerged on March 8 in a thinning field of states attempting to legalize iGaming during 2023. State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, who introduced a bill last year, sponsored the measure that sits in the Ways and Means Committee.
Kaufmann, R-Wilton, is the chairman of that House committee. The Iowa online casino bill must move quickly through the Iowa General Assembly if it will pass, as the body adjourns on April 28.
However, iGaming legalization may be a hard sell. In June 2022, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law a 2-year-long moratorium on granting new retail casino licenses.
Granted, iGaming isn’t a brick-and-mortar proposition, and Iowa sports betting launched online for the state’s 3.2 million residents in 2019. Since then, every major operator’s entered the market, including the Big Three: BetMGM Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook.
However, only New Hampshire is still considering legalizing online casino gambling in 2023. Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and New York efforts appear dead for the year.
Indeed, Kaufmann’s similar 2022 proposal – HSB604 – didn’t make it out of committee.
Plus, in January, US online casino marketplace leader BetMGM presented a dim forecast. BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt predicted cannibalization worries would prevent any iGaming states from entering the current field.
The seven current states with legal online casino gambling are:
- New Jersey
- Nevada (online poker only)
- West Virginia
Kaufmann didn’t immediately return a request for comment from Bonus today.
According to PlayUSA, Kaufmann didn’t expect Iowa online casino gambling to pass this year. He characterized it to PlayUSA‘s Matthew Kredell as “a multiyear effort.”
(PlayUSA and Bonus are both part of the Catena Media network.)
Iowa Online Casino Bill Details
Iowa’s sports betting tax rate, 6.75%, is one of the most affordable in the country. Kaufmann’s bill doesn’t appear to name a tax rate, so Bonus calculated an identical rate for online casino gambling might yield $35 million a year.
HSB227 says existing retail casinos can partner with up to two iGaming sites. The initial license fee is $45,000, with a $10,000 annual renewal fee.
In February, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) reported that the state’s 19 retail casinos generated more than $143 million in adjusted gross revenue. Iowa sportsbook revenue was $11.9 million, according to PlayUSA.
The bill doesn’t offer a potential launch date for the marketplace.
The bill outlines the permitted games as being allowed under 99F.7B of the state’s games and sports wagering regulations, which mention table games.