Iowa lawmaker wants fantasy sports betting legalized

Published: Sep. 12, 2016 at 8:32 PM CDT
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State Senator Jeff Danielson from Waterloo sponsored a bill to legalize fantasy sports betting last legislative session, but it failed in the house. He plans on bringing it back when lawmakers meet again in January.

Danielson says, "I think it's interesting that Iowa is one of only 6 states that does not allow it in some way, and I think it's time for us to come into the 21st century."

There will be changes this time around that Danielson says members of the house wanted. People will have to be 21 to play, and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will regulate the betting.

He says, "Every time the house wanted a change that would get them to yes, which ultimately means Iowans could play it, I've waived the reasonableness to that. And we've agreed to darn near everything.”

Also, fantasy sports betting sites would have to pay a fee to run in Iowa. Winnings would be taxed if they're more than 1200 dollars. Sports fan Mark Stagg says he's willing to pay.

Stagg says "Because it's going to open up revenue to do some other program that's not being done now. In the respect of casinos, they pay taxes on the money that's earned there as well."

The bill would go into effect next July if it passes. There are people against the bill citing religious reasons. Also, some call fantasy sports betting a game of luck instead of skill.