Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Fines Two Casinos and DraftKings

Every casino operator in the United States knows that they must adhere to certain regulations in order to remain in operation. When a provider messes up and violates a regulation, they are subject to a punishment such as a fine. In some cases, licensing can be revoked, but this usually is not an issue due to the low severity of the infraction. In Iowa, the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission recently issues violations against DraftKings as well as the Diamond Jo Casino and the Rhythm City Casino for being in violation of gaming regulations.

The Violations

For DraftKings, the operator was found to be in violation of a late download of information involving the self-ban list. An audit was completed by the commission that determined the list was not uploaded within the seven-day time frame. It is important to note that the list did not have anyone signed up on it.

Despite this fact, the company was still hit with the violation. Because of the issue, DraftKings agreed to pay a penalty of $5,000 to $20,000. The Commission reviewed the infraction and agreed that $5,000 was a fair penalty for the operator.

For Rhythm City Casino, the operator was fined for a violation involving the security cameras of the property. Back in November 2018, the facility was having issues with its surveillance system. Coverage was completely lost in January 2019. The loss covered critical areas of the facility that should have been surveilled for security needs.

The problem took place again in February. Critical areas where coverage is needed was lost for almost five hours. In this instance, the casino did not contact the commission or the DCI. The commission found that updates were needed by the vendor of the property to ensure that the security issue does not happen again. The casino had to pay a fine of $7,500 for the camera issues.

The Diamond Jo Casino had a similar instance take place. In November 2019, several cameras were involved in outages. This was due to upgrades of the system. The casino did not know the outages took place, so they did not report them.

An investigation uncovered that certain updates did not occur which led to the coverage loss. The system will need to be upgraded which will cost a whopping $750,000. The commission considered this cost and decided that they would find the casino the same as the other, $7,500.

Paying the Penalty

These infractions, while serious, were relatively minor which resulted in the low penalties in the Iowa online gambling market. Operators must adhere to all guidelines and even like in these instances, when they didn’t know they were at fault, they are held accountable by the commission.

Issues like this arise from time to time and this is why the commission in Iowa as well as regulators in other states hold audits from time to time. They look into all aspects of casino operations to ensure that the venues are operating as they should, following all protocols.

If an incident takes place where the rules are broken, the regulator will weigh the situation and then take action as they deem appropriate. Operators can challenge a ruling but more often than not, they accept the decision and pay any penalties associated.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.