SF 617 – Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports
SF 617 establishes legalized sports betting and fantasy sports by establishing program outlines, licensing fees and tax rates. For sports betting, an initial license will be $45,000 with an annual renewal of $10,000. For fantasy sports, an initial license will be $5,000 if the annual revenue is more than $150,000 and $1,000 if under $150,000. The tax rate is established at 6.75 percent for both sports betting and fantasy sports. For sports betting, the tax rate of 6.75 percent is designated as follows:
- The tax revenue will be deposited in the newly created fund in 8.57, subsection 6. This fund will pay for $300,000 in gambling treatment efforts, as outline in a separate appropriations bill.
- The licensing fee will be deposited in the general fund, but money will be held for a year with the Legislature directing appropriations, which may include additional monies to County Endowments.
- As of now, there is no new dedicated funding from Sports Betting or Fantasy Sports to the Community Endowments.
- The bill has qualified sponsoring organizations (QSO) receiving 0.75 percent of the sports betting net receipts from their operator(s). This is 0.75 percent on top of the 6.75 percent the casinos will be taxed.
Sports Betting or “sports wagering” is authorized by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).
- Bettors must be 21 or older and can place a bet at a “sports wagering area” in a casino or on a mobile device.
- To bet on a mobile/electronic device, one must establish an account at a casino and set up an “advance deposit” system before January 2021. After 2021, you can set up an advance deposit system completely online.
- No minor leagues allowed.
- No in-game betting on individual Iowa college players or their opponent players.
- Horses: It adds sports betting net receipts to the current purse disbursement of 11 percent on the first $200 million of net receipts and 6 percent of net receipts above $200 million at casinos with horse racing.
Fantasy Sports is a simulated game in which prizes are established and made known in advance to all contestants. Prize winnings reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined by statistical results of the performance of individuals.
- Service Provider: An Online Fantasy Sports Platform, a Racetrack (99D) or Gaming/Casino (99F).
- Eliminates potential of minor league and high school: Changes the definition of authorized sporting event to include only professional, collegiate, international and motor race events.
- Eliminates In-Play Betting on Iowa College Players or Olympic Athletes: Sports betting does not include placing bets on individual performances of an Iowa collegiate sporting event or an international Olympic event where any contestant is under 18.
- An amendment was adopted that delays college fantasy sports for one year to make sure Iowa colleges and universities are prepared for these new potential outside activities.
- SF 617 amends Qualified Sponsoring Organization (QSO) Boards to include one county supervisor and one member of a city council for each county and city that has a licensed gambling games facility. It requires anyone serving on a QSO board to be a resident of the state.
- Adds new sports gambling section concerning social gambling between individuals, to authorize social gambling on fantasy sports contests and provides that a participant may not win or lose more than $1,000 during any 24 consecutive hours or over that entire period. Current law limits wins or losses on social gambling to $200.
- Racetracks are explicitly allowed applying for Endowment Grants.
- The bill requires the mobile app to cite the 800-Bets-Off number and include extensive responsible gambling features (i.e., limit time of play, allow a time out, etc.).
- The bill takes effect upon enactment, and must be implemented no later than July 4, 2019. The Racing and Gaming Commission will develop rules to implement the program.
[4/17: 31-18 (Excused Guth)]
HF 634 – Combining juvenile justice boards
HF 634 eliminates the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council, the Public Safety Advisory Board and the Sex Offender Research Council, and replaces them with the Justice Advisory Board. These boards have overlapping members and missions. The new 28-member board will have 22 voting members and 6 ex-officio nonvoting members.
Members will include nine appointed by the governor with confirmation by the Senate and a member representing each of these organizations/agencies: Coalition Against Sexual Assault, ACLU, Iowa County Attorney’s, Department of Human Services, Department of Corrections, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Health, Courts, a Judicial District, Department of Correctional Services, Office of the Status of African Americans, Board of Parole, State Public Defender, Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The ex officio members will be two district judges designated by the Chief Justice, Chair and Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Chair and Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee or House Public Safety Committee.
HF 692 – Elections bill
HF 692, as passed by the House, implements the statewide use of postal service barcodes to determine the date that an absentee ballot was placed into the federal postal service. If the postmark or postal service barcode indicates that the ballot was mailed by the day before Election Day, the ballot must be counted. If there is a discrepancy between the date indicated by the postmark and the postal service barcode, the earlier date will be used to determine the “mailed by” date of the ballot. There was a small amendment that did the following:
- Removed the requirement for students to be required to fill out a form on where they intend to reside after graduation from a higher education entity, as a condition of graduation.
- Modified the prohibition of county auditors to not engage in absentee ballot drive. County auditor may now do a ballot drive, but only for themselves and only when they are on the ballot.
- Satellite voting station – strikes the county auditor from setting (or not)satellites in special elections. Reverts back to require to be placed as described on the petition.
- Disclosure on text message – texts may abbreviate “paid for by” as “Pfb:” Organization may use their name, candidates name, or committee identification number when noticing on newly defined “published material” requirements.
Senate Republicans amended the original bipartisan bill and added divisive voter suppression policies. The bill includes absentee ballot counting provisions in HF 692 with these changes:
- Moves the required report to the list of already required reports for county commissioner post-election.
- Rewrites precinct board members section 53.17A 4 (b) and adds up to five members from each party to verify uncertain postal service codes as identified by the county commissioner.
- Sunsets a provision that allows the legislature to review enactment of statewide postal service.
- Adds a drop dead date: If no action is taken by May 1, 2023, absentee ballots must be returned to the county auditor’s office before polls close on Election Day. Any ballot, except for uniformed or overseas, received after polls close cannot be counted.
- Removes Secretary of State requirements for publishing proposed amendments to the Iowa Constitution.
- Issuance of Bonds: Public and school bonds will include the term of the bond, current levy rate, proposed new levy rate, the average impact on a home and the average of the averages.
- Self-Promotion: Defines “direct mass mailing” as a mailing sent to 200 or more recipients. It defines the prohibition against public funds for printed material as including those mailings that are sent to request or enroll a person into a program, the purpose of which is to attract public attention to a person, policy, product, service, program, law, legislation or event. Only applies to monies given the Governor’s office.
- Hospital Board of Trustees Elections: Establishes off-setting term limits for hospital boards of trustees.
- SSB1078: Special elections will occur on the first Tuesday in March and second Tuesday in September, with Election Day in November only for an odd-numbered year.
- Nomination by Petition: Nominations by a political party or nonparty political organization require the same number of signatures. It eliminates all percentage formulas.
- Makes dates for filing, withdrawing and replacement for state and county offices uniform.
- County Auditor’s signatures on a ballot are replaced with the county seal. County Auditors cannot participate in absentee ballot drives or collections in cooperation with a candidate or political party. County Auditor or Secretary of State cannot distribute sample ballots. Secretary of State can oversee County Auditor’s election-related work 60 days before and after an election.
- Mandates the use of e-poll books by February 26, 2020.
- Voter registration closes 11 days before an election; voters are still eligible for Election Day registration.
- Requires a special election for tie elections. Offices of U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative will hold a special election 66 days after the final canvass or recount. Statewide offices, Legislature, county supervisors and any partisan countywide election will hold a special election under current parameters. The remaining races, including President and Vice President, are drawn by lot.
- Polling times: closing time for polling places for state primary and general elections, other partisan elections and any other election held concurrently is moved from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Requests for satellite voting for special election must be made 18 days before the election, down from 32.
- County Auditors can authorize satellite voting without petition requests ONLY for special elections.
- Requires a county auditor to verify a voter voting absentee
- Requires a county auditor who receives an incomplete absentee ballot request to inform the applicant within 24 hours by telephone or electronic mail.
- Prohibits a county auditor from using the voter registration system to obtain additional necessary information.
- Changes the process by which absentee ballots lacking a signature or appearing to have been signed by someone else are verified. If such a ballot is received by 5 p.m. on the Saturday before a general election or by 5 p.m. on the Friday before any other election, the county commissioner of elections must contact the voter within 24 hours and inform the voter how to remediate the ballot.
- Allows a candidate requesting a recount to have an auditor from another county at the recount.
- Conflicts of Interest: Repeals the prohibition on elected or appointed county employees holding an interest in a contract for the construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance of any highway, bridge or culvert. The bill requires a state or county official who is a voting member of a government entity responsible for awarding a contract pursuant to competitive bidding procedures and is the apparent low bidder for the contract to abstain from voting to award the contract and include an explanation of the official’s conflict in the resolution.
- Removing Voters: The bill requires a county auditor during the January immediately following each presidential election to mark as “inactive” a voter who did not vote in the presidential election. Multiple notifications follow. If voter is not reached, the auditor will cancel the voter registration of a person who does not respond to a notice by July 1.
- Oversight of County Auditors: The bill requires each county commissioner to submit a report on voter list maintenance activities annually to the Secretary of State.
- Creates an order for ballot placement. The two political parties receiving the highest number of votes will each appear first on the ballot for one gubernatorial election and one presidential election in an eight-year period. The candidates of a party appearing first on the ballot in half of the counties in Iowa will appear second on the ballot in the other half of the counties.
- Municipal Elections: Secretary of State prefile changes.
[4/17: 31-18 (Excused: Guth)]