Panel OKs system for online horse race gambling

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — The state Racing and Gaming Commission has unanimously approved a system allowing Iowa gamblers to bet on horse races by phone or online.

On a 5 to 0 vote Thursday at a meeting in Johnston, the commission approved rules that would let Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino begin the new system by January. The casino still would need to reach an agreement with a private vendor and the Iowa horsemen’s association.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reports gamblers would need to establish accounts in advance with the Altoona racetrack-casino.

Commission Administrator Jack Ketterer says the Legislature authorized the system.

It’s a switch from current rules that require people to drive to state-licensed tracks in Altoona, Council Bluffs or Dubuque.