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Iowa Says to Study DFS Before Passing Laws
Sunday, March 27, 2016 : IOWA LAW EXPERT URGES STUDY OF FANTASY SPORTS BEFORE PASSING LAWS.
Drake University professor says state needs to follow its traditionally cautious route.
Professor Keith Miller, a respected law expert at Drake University in Iowa, has published an op-ed article in the Des Moines Register, appealing to lawmakers to take a cautious approach to the legalisation of fantasy sports (including daily fantasy sports) by first commissioning a study by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The state has done this before in considering laws on Internet poker and, in 2015, “exchange wagering” for horse racing, Miller points out.
The professor was commenting on File 166 in the Iowa legislature, which proposes the immediate authorisation of fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports and directs the IRGC to develop regulations, a course which he claims is "hasty and uniformed."
"As of now, DFS companies do not allow Iowans to participate in cash contests because of Iowa court decisions and the Iowa Attorney General’s determination that Iowa law does not allow cash prizes," the professor explains.
"The proposed legislation would legalize DFS and open cash games to Iowa residents. It would be a mistake to pass such legislation without gaining crucial input from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission."
Miller believes that figures from the Fantasy Sport Trade Association claiming that 300,000 Iowans (15 percent of adults in the state) play fantasy sports may be inaccurate - an additional reason for an objective assessment by the Commission.
"Reliance on a trade association’s arguments and statistics is not a responsible course of action. An expert body that can be trusted for its objectivity needs to examine the issues," the professor writes.
"The bottom line is no gambling, or gambling-like activity, should be legalized without a thorough and transparent assessment. The IRGC has demonstrated the expertise to study such issues. Whatever course the Legislature chooses, it should take no action until the IRGC has had time to study the issue. Relying on industry trade-group estimates and assertions is not in the best interests of Iowans."
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