Casinos won’t have to keep lists of people barred from betting on sports

DES MOINES — A panel of lawmakers has placed a hold a proposed rule to require that Iowa casinos maintain lists of coaches, athletes and other officials who’d be barred from placing sports bets because of their involvement in college sports or fantasy sports.

Representative Megan Jones of Sioux Rapids says the rule may have been spurred by the 2019 law that made it legal in Iowa to bet on sports – but it would have been unusual.  “There are 38 states that participate in sports gaming, but Iowa is the first one to request or require this list and so we’re sort of on the forefront here,” Jones says, “and I’m not sure these are waters we’re prepared to go through.”

The process to block this regulation started in September, well before charges against Iowa State University athletes accused of placing illegal sports bets were dropped. “What is problematic in this set of rules is that casinos are required to maintain a list of athletes, athletic trainers, coaches and other affiliated person or they can buy a subscription from a company that purports to do the same,” Jones says. “However, there’s only one entity that’s really doing this and their list, for instance, does not include the University of Iowa.”

Jones says it would be nearly impossible to keep an accurate, comprehensive and up-o-date list of all the sports figures that shouldn’t be betting on sporting events.  “Every now and again somebody gets in a tizzie and they’re kicked off the team or there’s a suspension,” Jones says.

The legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee has used its authority to prevent the rule from taking effect until the spring of 2025. The rule would have applied to fantasy sports as well in-person sporting events. A resolution to nullify the rule altogether won House approval on a 92-to-one vote and awaits Senate action.