Guilty Pleas in Iowa Sports Betting Case Prior to Rivalry Football Game

Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy Overshadowed by Betting Scandal

Posted on: September 8, 2023, 10:54h

Last updated on: September 8, 2023, 10:55h

The annual Cy-Hawk Trophy game between Iowa and Iowa State will be overshadowed by recent guilty pleas from several current and former athletes in a state betting probe.

Iowa Kirk Ferentz NCAA sports betting
Iowa Hawkeyes football coach Kirk Ferentz speaks to the media during Big Ten Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on July 26, 2023. Ferentz believes the NCAA should better educate student-athletes on sports betting and consider easing sanctions for certain violations. (Image: USA Today Sports)

Starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers from Iowa State, along with offensive lineman Jake Remsburg and former player Dodge Sauser, have all agreed to plea deals for underage gambling charges. Attorney Mark Weinhardt confirmed the details, stating that Dekkers received a $645 fine. The trio were initially charged with tampering with records in the Iowa sports betting probe.

In a surprising turn, all three players have been cleared of the tampering charges, with Weinhardt stating, “The original records tampering charge against these young men never fit the case, either legally or factually. Hunter, Jake, and Dodge are not and never were guilty of that charge. The charge has nothing to do with gambling. Other than the fact that Hunter, Jake, and Dodge placed some bets before they turned 21, nothing about those bets was a crime under Iowa law.”

Dekkers’ involvement with DraftKings was revealed by a criminal complaint, which stated that he had placed 366 wagers totaling $2,799 on 26 Iowa State sporting events. Former Iowa kicker Aaron Bloom and former baseball player Gehrig Christensen also pleaded guilty to underage gambling charges.

Wide-Ranging Betting Probe Impacts Multiple Athletes

A total of 16 current and former athletes from Iowa and Iowa State have been charged in the ongoing probe. The NCAA’s gambling rules stipulate that student-athletes who wager on their own team could face permanent ineligibility. ESPN reports that Dekkers, who was expected to be the starting QB for this year, is currently not participating in team activities and may permanently lose his collegiate eligibility. Remsburg is expected to receive a six-game suspension.

The scandal will continue to generate attention as the football season progresses.

Updates on Iowa Sports Betting Landscape

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has reported an 8% drop in sports bets for the fiscal year that ended in June. This marks the first decrease in sports betting activity since legalized sports gaming was introduced in the state in 2019. However, despite the drop in bets, Iowa collected nearly 35% more in taxes due to operators earning higher profits. The American Gaming Association also noted that overall gaming revenue in the state reached over $16 billion in the second quarter of this year, marking the 10th consecutive quarter of annual growth.

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