Iowa Gaming Commission Conducting Betting Probe On Hawkeyes Baseball Team

Written By Eli Hershkovich on May 10, 2023
Iowa Baseball Betting

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission confirmed that it is in the midst of investigating potential sports betting violations from the University of Iowa baseball team. Suspicion began because of abnormal lineup decisions in its most recent series.

Additional details are below.

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What’s The Latest On Iowa Baseball?

On Monday morning, On3Sports’ Kyle Huesmann reported that four Hawkeyes players didn’t participate in their series against the Ohio State Buckeyes over the weekend. Infielder Keaton Anthony, who owns the seventh-highest OPS among everyday Big Ten players while also tallying the second-most most hit-by-pitches, was one of those who didn’t suit up.

“The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) is aware of an ongoing investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Special Enforcement Operations Bureau (DCI) concerning sports wagering that includes individuals affiliated with the University of Iowa,” the IRGC said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

“As the regulatory agency for gambling and wagering laws in the State of Iowa, the IRGC administers the laws and rules for gambling and wagering to ensure the integrity of licensees and their operations. Specifically, as part of the IRGC’s responsibilities to regulate sports wagering, the IRGC is always examining wagering activity utilizing information available from integrity monitoring providers, sportsbooks, other regulatory jurisdictions, sports leagues, and the public. The IRGC does not currently have any information that would call into question the integrity of any sports wagering contest or event involving the University of Iowa.”

The Iowa athletic department sent out a vague statement on Friday, following the concern over Anthony’s absence.

“Due to a potential NCAA violation, we withheld some student-athletes from competition,” it said. “We will have no additional comments as this is an ongoing investigation.”

On Monday evening, The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman detailed that 26 Iowa student-athletes are under investigation. These names range from baseball, football, men’s basketball, men’s track and field and wrestling participants, along with one full-time athletic department worker.

According to Dochterman, 111 individuals in total are connected to this case. However, the bulk of them are either student-staff members or no longer have any involvement to Iowa athletics. None of them have served on the Hawkeyes’ coaching staffs, either.

“I got wind of this on Saturday,” Dochterman told TheLines. “It’s not a surprise that student-athletes are starting to become more interested in gaming and gambling. … But there are signs everywhere you go at the University of Iowa to not bet on it. This is an unfortunate situation that’s probably going to result in long suspensions for these athletes.”

Hawkeyes Aren’t Alone On Sports Betting Front

This story marks consecutive weeks in which a college baseball team has been linked to a sports betting probe. On Thursday, then-Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon was dismissed because of “violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.” Bohannon was originally under contract through June 2025.

Great American Ballpark — the home of the Cincinnati Reds — handed over surveillance video footage from their BetMGM Sportsbook property. It showcased that the unidentified bettor was in touch with Bohannon. Overall, four states have ceased all betting markets on Alabama baseball since this occurrence.

A noteworthy distinction between the Iowa baseball inspection from the latter is that the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has yet to halt bets on Hawkeyes baseball games. There is no evidence to date suggesting that any Iowa player has bet on a baseball game, either.

The Hawkeyes haven’t clinched a spot in the 2023 NCAA Tournament to this point, requiring a sound finish down the stretch.

Shortly after the Iowa investigation was announced, Iowa State also found itself in the news. Roughly 15 student-athletes have claims against them, regarding online sports wagering.

Each of these universities are administered by identical Board of Regents with respects to these incidents.

Editor’s Note: The IRGC told TheLines that it wouldn’t provide any further comments at this time.

Iowa Baseball Betting Analysis

In states like Illinois and Virginia, among others with legalized sports betting, residents are unable to wagers on local collegiate teams via mobile sportsbooks. This rule applies to many — if not all — of their retail locations as well. That may change in the near future, but these types of events could very well hinder those conversations.

Athletic departments, such as the example with Florida below, have already begun emphasizing the NCAA’s rules and regulations towards sports betting. There will likely be more action taken in the coming weeks.

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