Iowa To Legalize Online Fantasy Sports Betting

Published Friday, March 13, 2015 -
Iowa To Legalize Online Fantasy Sports Betting

Fantasy sports betting has been flying under the regulation radar for some time in America and there are certain jurisdictions where it has become an industry like no other. In one state a bill recently approved by the Iowa Senate will allow players who engage in fantasy sports leagues to claim prizes and cash. Critics argued the move will expand the gambling industry in Iowa.

While the playing of fantasy sports and betting on the outcomes has been authorized by the U.S. Congress in Iowa and a small number of other states, payouts for fantasy sports can be either illegal or subject to hard to understand laws.

Senator Jeff Danielson who is chairman of the Senate State Government Committee commented, "We are in legal limbo. We have never clearly defined what are fantasy sports in Iowa," Danielson added, "This is not a revenue-generating tool. This is about getting the policy right."

The process for fantasy sports engagement has people drafting teams from real college and professional athletes. Based on statistics collected by these athletes in real contests, someone will win or lose to others in their fantasy league or game.

The games are offered through major league sports websites, as well as through ESPN, Yahoo and other online content providers. According to the Wisconsin-based Fantasy Sports Trade Association it is estimated that the industry generates $800 million annually across the country, Forty-four states already allow players to accept prizes and cash.

Senator Tony Bisignano, D-Des Moines, supported the legislation and commented, "Somebody is going to make tens of billions of dollars in this friendly little game that has caught on all over the country."

One critic of the bill Senator, Jason Schultz, said he initially supported the bill, but decided to oppose it after looking at the consequences. "This is an expansion of Iowa gambling. I know that this is an unpopular way to put it," he said. "But the fact remains: We have money. We have reward. We have a quick turnover in daily games. It is the same as betting on a team."



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