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. That eventually could allow state-licensed casinos like the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City to offer wagering on sporting events along with slot machines and table games.
“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 betting 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.
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