US sports leagues split on how to monetize sports betting

A man watches Super Bowl LIII at the Westgate Superbook sports book, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Las Vegas. 

DES MOINES — The Iowa Legislature is moving forward a series of bills that would legalize sports betting.

Lawmakers discussed four bills Wednesday in a Senate subcommittee, and the bills are on the calendar for discussion Thursday by House members.

The bills offer opportunities for competing groups, including state-licensed casinos, a horse racing group, the Iowa Lottery and professional sports organizations, to run sports gambling operations.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann drafted the bills to give the various gambling interests a chance to argue why they’d offer the best sports betting platform.

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Legislative leaders say they plan to support a single plan that allows one or more organizations to run sports gambling.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would regulate operations run by casinos, professional leagues or horse groups while the Iowa Lottery would oversee such betting if its plan is approved.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May that states can legalize sports betting. Eight states accept bets and several others are considering laws that would enable sports betting.

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