Iowa Takes Aim at Account-Sharing in Wake of Student Betting Scandals 

Posted on: August 28, 2023, 04:28h. 

Last updated on: August 29, 2023, 11:38h.

Iowa college athletes who are under investigation for betting on games allegedly did so using other people’s accounts. Now, state regulators are taking steps to crack down on the practice.

Jirehl Brock
Iowa State running back Jirehl Brock, seen here on the verge of scoring a touchdown against Baylor, was charged with using a friend’s sportsbook account to conceal his identity. Now regulators are cracking down on account-sharing. (Image: AP)

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) is considering proposed rule changes that would require sportsbook operators to do more to prevent underage bettors from accessing their platforms through shared accounts.

The commission wants sportsbook operators to do a better job of informing customers that account- sharing is prohibited and that they may not place bets on behalf of people under the age of 21.

Account-sharing is already barred under existing regulations. But the new rules would require sportsbooks to “prominently display” language outlining such prohibitions “on any interface that accepts wagers.”

The changes come amid a deepening investigation into student athletes at the state’s universities.

Warnings Required

Sportsbook websites and apps would be required to include the following disclaimers if the new rules are adopted:

“(1) Account-sharing is prohibited. Each account holder must not share usernames or passwords with other people. Each wager made on an account shall be made by only the registered account holder, and shall not be made on behalf of any other individual.

“(2) Persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from wagering. No person shall attempt to circumvent account setup procedures designed to prohibit wagering from individuals under the age of 21. Registered account holders shall not attempt to assist in the placement of a wager by any individual under the age of 21.”

Another proposed change would require sportsbooks to take extra steps to enforce prohibitions on betting by coaches, players, and others affiliated with sports teams. Operators would either have to maintain their own lists of prohibited bettors, or join a third-party organization that maintains such a list.

Additional proposed changes would add account-sharing to a list of violations sportsbook operators are required to report to regulators, and add new requirements related to account verification procedures to prevent underage access.

Players Allegedly Used Shared Accounts

The proposed rules come as dozens of student athletes from Iowa and Iowa State are suspected to have placed sports bets in violation of NCAA rules.

Seven players have been charged in a state gambling probe and accused of using other people’s accounts to place sports bets, including some games involving their own teams.

Iowa wide receiver Jack Johnson, for example, allegedly placed 380 bets on a DraftKings account set up by his mother while he was underage.

Two former Iowa players, wide receiver Arland Bruce IV and safety Reggie Bracy, allegedly made hundreds of bets on an account set up by one of Bruce’s family members. And a student manager for the Iowa football team, Owen O’Brien, was accused of placing 350 bets using his mother’s FanDuel account.

Iowa State running back Jirehl Brock allegedly bet more than $12K using a friend’s name and account, including at least three football games in which he played.

Public Hearing Scheduled for October

A public hearing is scheduled for October 10 in Des Moines.

Individuals or organizations can submit comments on the proposal between now and then.