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Iowa Sportsbooks May Have To Post New Notices For Bettors

Written By Derek Helling on August 25, 2023
iowa state quarterback hunter dekkers throws a football in uniform

If new proposed rules become part of Iowa’s sports betting regulations, you might be able to call them the Hunter Dekkers rules. In light of ongoing investigations into potentially illegal sports wagers by college athletes in Iowa, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) is taking some action.

To be clear, the alleged activity by athletes like Dekkers has always been illegal in Iowa. The new regulations that the IRGC is proposing won’t change that whatsoever. The intended effect of the new rules is simply to emphasize what is illegal in the state.

IRGC considering new requirements for sportsbooks

The existing laws and regulations in Iowa governing legal sports betting address the issue of people sharing their accounts and people who are under the age of 21 placing wagers. The IRGC is now proposing making it even more clear to bettors that such actions are outside the parameters of the law.

During its Thursday meeting, regulators introduced the new proposed rules. The tentative rules require sports betting licensees in the state to post disclaimers stressing that it is illegal to place wagers if you are under 21 years of age or using an account registered to another person. The actual language of the proposed regulation amendment is:

Advance deposit sports wagering operators shall prominently display the following
information on any interface that accepts wagers:
(1) Account sharing is prohibited. Each account holder must not share usernames or
passwords with other people. Each wager made on an account shall be made by only the
registered account holder, and shall not be made on behalf of any other individual.
(2) Persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from wagering. No person shall attempt
to circumvent account setup procedures designed to prohibit wagering from individuals under the age of 21. Registered account holders shall not attempt to assist in the placement of a wager by any individual under the age of 21.

The rules will not take immediate effect. Rather, the IRGC must submit them to a public comment period first. It’s possible that this new language could become official before the current college football season ends in Iowa, though.

Wagers on that sport are part of the impetus for these new proposals.

Rules would ensure information is available

Ignorance of the law in any regard is never an adequate defense for any infraction. However, these new notices aim to ensure that no one can claim ignorance of these provisions should they be caught violating them.

To some degree, that may have already happened in Iowa regarding several athletes at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. Dekkers is among the more high-profile of eight people who are currently part of a criminal investigation.

The allegations against them include tampering with records, which can include fines and incarceration as possible penalties upon conviction. Allegedly, the persons of interest used online sports betting accounts registered to other people to try to hide their betting activity.

In addition, some of the athletes like Dekkers, who was a backup quarterback for Iowa State’s American football team, stand accused of wagering on games their teams took part in. Regardless of the outcomes of the investigations, these new rules might cause anyone considering taking similar actions to pause and think things through.

Photo by AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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