Gov. Kim Reynolds legalizes sports betting in Iowa

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – After months of anticipation, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill legalizing sports betting for Iowa casinos like Sioux City’s Hard Rock.

Mike Adams, the director of marketing and hotel operations at the Hard Rock, explained what this new law could bring to their facility.

“It’s an exciting amenity for the property. It’s just something else that’s going to be great to bring to the city. We anticipate a lot of new traffic,” said Adams. “It’s going to coincide right around the opening of our parking garage, so it’s just going to be an additional feature.” 

The new law allows Iowans 21 years and older to bet on sporting events in any of the 19 casinos in Iowa. They can even cast their bets online after they’ve proved they’re 21. Adams said the Hard Rock is already preparing for the new influx of visitors.

“Well, we’re excited to have another amenity to add to our property and right now we’re working with a third party vendor that we’ve identified and are looking at different spaces around the area to add sports betting to the property,” said Adams. 

David Mastbergen has lived in Sioux City his whole life and he said he’s excited to see a new law come in to play. 

“I think it could lead to a boost in the economy, but like everything, it needs to be in moderation. I know it could be a problem for some people but just like regular gambling I think it could be a fun activity,” said Mastbergen. 

The new law carries a 6.75% state tax on all sports revenue. That’s after bets are paid. For David Schultz, the president of the Missouri River Historical Development, which owns the gaming license in Woodbury County, sports betting provides a new revenue stream.

“It’s a different pot of money, so there’s a different tax structure to it. So, before we were getting 4.25 percent of all revenue of sports gambling. Now we’re going to get .75 percent,” said Schultz.  

MRHD President Shchultz said the additional revenue will help the organization continue to fund projects across Woodbury County. 

“I’m just happy that the legislator sees the value in the Q.S.O. and what we’re doing for the community. I mean we’re doing a lot of good,” said Schultz. 

Schultz said since Hard Rock opened it’s doors about 5 years ago, MHRD has awarded close to $15 million dollars to local non-profit groups, something he said the group looks forward to continuing.

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