Iowa casino group hopes to legalize sports gambling – The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines

Gaming Association watching for Supreme Court decision in New Jersey case Dec 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Print View

DES MOINES — A pending decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could open the door to legalized sports gambling in any state that approves it.

A nonprofit organization that supports Iowa’s casinos plans to draft legislation that would legalize sports gambling in the state, should the U.S. Supreme Court rule in a way that makes that possible.

“I think there’s a great deal of interest among people (who want) the opportunity to bet on a game and do it in a regulated environment,” said Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association. “If and when this were to be passed, to have that opportunity to provide this opportunity in Iowa, I think a lot of people have a great deal of interest in sports and betting on sports.”

Interest in sports wagering is not in short supply. Americans illegally wager $150 billion on U.S. sports annually, and of the $4.7 billion wagered on last season’s Super Bowl, 97 percent was illegal, according to estimates from the American Gaming Association, which supports legalized sports betting.

Only four states — Nevada, Montana, Delaware and Oregon — are allowed to facilitate sports gambling under a 1992 federal law.

That law has been challenged by New Jersey in a case that was heard Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Should the court rule in favor of New Jersey, all states would be free to legalize sports gambling.

The Iowa Gaming Association wants to be prepared for that possibility. Ehrecke said his organization plans to draft a bill that would legalize sports gambling in Iowa, should the U.S. Supreme Court make that possible, and hopes that bill is introduced during the upcoming

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