DES MOINES, Iowa - A bill to legalize sports betting in Iowa that went nowhere this year will definitely be reintroduced in the Iowa State Legislature next year.
"We did a lot of research and put a lot of time into this, so hopefully we can get the bill passed next year." Iowa State Representative Jake Highfill of Johnston tells WHO Radio News. He says Iowa is ahead of many other states.
"Because we already have 19 casinos in Iowa, we have a platform." Highfill tells WHO Radio News. "We have regulations in place. We're not reinventing the wheel here."
As for how much money Iowa could make off legalized sports betting, Highfill says, "The estimates are way out there, it's anybody's guess." He says.
Wes Ehricke, CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association has a few numbers to crunch.
"There's an estimated $150-billion dollars that's bet on sports betting, and only 5% is done legally in Nevada." Ehricke tells Jeff Angelo on Newsradio 1040 WHO. "So, it's out there and people are doing it." He says.
The Meskwaki Tribal casino in Tama isn't ruling out sports betting.
"We have made no decisions on sports betting." Executive Director Bessie Scott tells WHO Radio News. "In general, though, we are committed to bringing more avenues of gaming to our operations."
Scott was speaking from a statement by Tribal Chair Anthony Waseskuk.
She says the tribe would first need to evaluate how profitable it would be to invest in new technology and space needed for sports betting.