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Iowa Betting Legal Update – Changes Coming Amid Scandal
The University of Iowa announced on Tuesday that 11 student-athletes will lose their eligibility after one of the biggest recent scandals in college sports. An inquiry began in May that investigated 111 individuals from Iowa and Iowa State, including 26 players and an athletic department employee. NCAA rules prohibit athletes and school athletic department workers from wagering on any level of NCAA-sponsored events.
The fallout could have significant ramifications for Iowa sports betting moving forward.
Iowa Sports Betting Scandal
The complaints allege that athletes at both schools made wagers on the DraftKings or FanDuel platform from their cell phones, with many athletes using accounts in family members' names to hide the activity. The investigation discovered that many players made wagers at their school residences and “areas of the university not routinely open to the public,” referring to athletic facilities with key card or fob access.
The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation has charged a total of 14 players as a result of the probe, including athletes who allegedly wagered on games they played. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormack released a statement, saying, “Given the current landscape of sports betting in our industry, it’s more important than ever to double down on ensuring sport integrity across our conference.”
Those involved were charged with tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor carrying penalties from deferred judgment up to a maximum of two years in prison and fines between $855 to $8,540.
Changes Coming to Iowa Sports Betting
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) is discussing proposed rule changes requiring online sportsbooks to increase their efforts to stop underage bettors from using shared accounts to access the platforms. Under current regulations, account sharing is prohibited, with the new rules requiring online sportsbooks to “prominently display” this language “on any interface that accepts wagers.”
Additional changes proposed include requiring betting apps to prohibit coaches, players, and other individuals linked to sports teams from betting on their platforms. Another change would add account sharing to the violations sportsbooks would be required to disclose to state regulators. They must also implement an account verification process to prevent access from people under 21.
A public hearing on the matter will be held in Des Moines on October 10.
The Future of Sports Betting in Iowa
The recent scandal shouldn’t have much of an effect on sports betting in Iowa. Implementing the proposed new rules aims to strengthen the integrity of sports betting providers while enforcing the ban on underage bettors.
U.S. Integrity is a sports betting compliance and fraud protection service for sports teams and betting providers throughout the country and has recently been called on by the Big Ten conference to provide its services. The company had already been visiting Big 12 schools this summer, providing student-athletes with sports betting education.
A new digital platform from U.S. Integrity, in partnership with RealResponse, would allow college athletes to anonymously alert school officials of illegal wagering by teammates and coaches. The service would not have any additional costs to its more than 150 sports team clients. It will also feature a tip line to give school administrators direct access to gambling investigators.