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Online Betting Coming to Iowa

9 November 2011 by admin

Iowa-mapSoon Iowa residents will be able to bet on horse racing online for the first time. On Thursday, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is expected to approve new online gambling regulations that were passed by the legislature in the last session. Those regulations allow “advance deposit wagering,” which lets gamblers place a bet on horse races if they are not at the track either through telephone or the Internet. In order to place the bet, the person must have already placed a deposit into a betting account.

Insiders say that there are enough votes in the commission for the regulation to be enacted. If so, advance wagering for horse racing could begin on January 1. The change is intended to make horse race betting more accessible. Jack Ketterer, the administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, said that the new procedure is “for people throughout the state who would like to bet on Prairie Meadows races, but who really have no way of doing so” without making a trip to the track. Many of the details still need to be worked out, such as the framework for the depositing. The commission enlisted the help of a California-based consulting firm to help with the depositing.

Many are skeptical of the plan. Mitch Henry, who heads a group called No Casino Iowa, said that allowing online betting for horse races will see an initial increase in profit, but only because “anytime something can be done online – be it legal or illegal – it will encourage folks who are compulsive gamblers.”

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