Iowa Sports Bar Betting Allowed (With One Important Caveat)

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Looking to place a bet on your favorite Iowa College Football team at your favorite local sports bar?  This year, that would be the Iowa State Cyclones, 6-2 entering Week 10 and ranked 15 in the nation.  It’s a team that shut out Kentucky and stunned a very good Sooners squad on the road.

Many people have the misconception that sports betting in the USA outside of Vegas is illegal.  This isn’t necessarily the case.  Folks have found creative ways to get around state laws, whether it be by setting up an offshore sportsbook or adhering to quirks in the legal system.

One such quirk exists in the state of Iowa.

You can place a wager on sporting events, including games that feature the Iowa State Cyclones, right smack in the middle of a sports bar.

According to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, any social gambling done in a restaurant or bar must be done in the form of a betting chart, the bet can be no more than $5 and the stake can be no more than $500.  Heading into Week 10, you could bet $5 on the Cyclones first score to be a field goal paying out $11.  Earlier in the season, futures on Iowa State to win the conference would have paid out several times that $5 bet, assuming it actually were to happen. 

"It has to be done in an open fashion. There can be no hidden numbers,” said David Werning with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals in an interview with Des Moines WHO13.

Of course there will be bookies and sports bettors swarming throughout the various sports bar establishments looking to take things up a level.  This, of course, is now possible online.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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