Legal sports betting in Iowa starts at noon Aug. 15

By  | 

WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - Starting Thursday at noon, people in Iowa can start placing bets on sports at all but one of the state-regulated casinos.

Sports betting will be allowed in Iowa starting August 15. The bill legalizing sports gambling passed in April and was signed by Gov. Reynolds in May. (MGN)

Earlier this year Governor Reynolds signed a law letting people bet at state-regulated casinos.

They can also bet on their phone through an app connected to the casino. The decision came after the United States Supreme Court put the power to allow sports betting into the hands of the state.

The Isle Casino in Waterloo is holding a ribbon-cutting event on Thursday in honor of the change. Major League Baseball hall of Famer Andre Dawson will be on hand to make the first bet.

People can bet on both professional and college games. The catch with college games is that people can't bet on individual players. People can make in-game bets and prop bets for professional games.

Casinos will have information available to give people about gambling addiction.

Workers with Isle Casino say their workers are also trained to talk to people about gambling addictions

Overall, this could mean huge money for the state. Sports betting website PlayIowa.com says it could eventually bring in more than 5 billion dollars per year.

“Now you can place a bet, it's legal. (It’s) going to be taxed,” said Thomas Roberts, the general manager of Isle Casino. “Those tax dollars, 3% of that is gonna go to the local charitable foundation here, and it's going to be given to the surrounding counties, so now that that that money that was going illegally to be gambled is going to be brought to the forefront."

Prevention Specialist Angela Harbour with the Area Substance Abuse Council sent TV9 a statement in regards to sports betting:

“There are limits to how much a person can bet depending on the event. People can only put money into their accounts at the casinos they are registered with.

This change may bring about excitement for many Iowans. For those that choose to gamble on sports, most will do so for entertainment purposes and not experience any negative consequences besides the possible loss of money. However, there is a portion of our population who are at a greater risk for gambling use disorders and who may experience greater issues with this new law.

It’s a common misconception that problem gambling is an individual problem. However, problem gambling does not just affect the individual, it can have an impact on family, friends, coworkers, and the community as well. With that being said, it’s important for everyone to know the warning signs.

-Increased amounts of time and money spent -loss of interest in other hobbies the individual used to enjoy -changes in emotional/mental health (if the person seems anxious, depressed, frustrated or angry) before or after their participation in sports betting -lying/covering up how much time or money they’ve spent (inflating wins and ignoring or minimizing losses) -preoccupation with sports betting to the point that it interferes with their ability to perform at work, school, or home

Responsible gambling:
Individuals that choose to wager on sports should set appropriate money and time limits and balance this with other hobbies or forms of entertainment. They should also continually do self-assessments and seek help early if they feel their sports betting is getting out of control.

Resources:
Even with these concerns, one thing to remember is problem gambling is preventable. The state of Iowa has many wonderful prevention resources available at yourlifeiowa.org including information on responsible gambling and how to identify the signs and symptoms of problem gambling. The website provides information to help one understand their risk of developing a problem. Information and resources are also available for family members and friends of someone who may be experiencing a problem. Lastly, 24-7 support and assistance is offered by calling 1-800-BetsOff, by texting 1-855-895-8398, or through live chat or video at yourlifeiowa.org.”