The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) has released a statement addressing the sports betting scandal that involved Iowa State and Iowa athletes. The DPS, which oversees various activities including gambling, usually does not publicly discuss such matters, leaving them in the hands of the state’s justice system. However, the agency confirmed that the evidence against the athletes was obtained “in a constitutionally permissible manner” by its Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
The investigation revealed that a dozen athletes were involved in gambling activities, including underage gambling, using other people’s identities to gamble, and wagering on their own team. Some of the athletes faced suspensions, criminal charges, and fines as a result. The DPS emphasized the significant growth of the sports betting sector in Iowa since its legalization, with $2.4 billion in bets for 2023. The agency also mentioned the emergence of technology to regulate the industry and enforce the law.
In its statement, the DPS highlighted laws in the state that require sports betting operators to enforce location detection to monitor the location of players placing wagers. Additionally, there is a prohibition of wagering law that applies to coaches, athletic trainers, officials, players, and other individuals who participate in authorized sporting events.
The announcement from the DPS follows a motion filed by Iowa State players’ attorneys, who claimed that the DCI engaged in a warrantless investigation into the athletes’ betting activities. The attorneys representing Isaiah Lee, Jirehl Brock, and Paniro Johnson alleged that the investigation was launched without reasonable cause. They stated that DCI agents targeted facilities and requested subpoenas to obtain account information on hundreds of private citizens without reasonable cause.
This contradicts the DPS’s claim that the evidence in the betting probe was obtained in a constitutionally permissible manner and that the agency consulted with two county attorney offices before pressing charges.
Overall, the statement from the Iowa Department of Public Safety has shed light on the sports betting scandal involving Iowa athletes, emphasizing the importance of following laws and regulations in the rapidly growing sports betting industry.