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Jerome García August 3, 2023 3 min read
Current and Former Athletes in Iowa Face Charges after Betting Probe
A new report suggests that seven former and current athletes are facing charges after an investigation in Iowa
Five years ago, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, allowing different states to legalize sports betting. That resulted in statewide expansion of the activity that is now available in more than 30 US states in some form. While the popularity of wagering on sports grows exponentially, concerns about the integrity of professional and collegiate games continue to rise. With many professional leagues prohibiting their players to wager on the sports they play, penalties for such breaches continue to emerge.
As reported by the Associated Press, seven former and current athletes are facing charges after a massive investigation in Iowa. The Iowa Criminal Division launched an investigation into sports betting that resulted in charges against the athletes. If current athletes within the investigation are found guilty to have breached the established rules related to gambling by the NCAA, they may lose eligibility, reveals the latest report. The players that reportedly face criminal charges include:
- Ahron Ulis, former Hawkeyes basketball player
- Eyioma Uwazurike, former football player
- Paniro Johnson, ISU wrestler
- Hunter Dekkers, Cyclones quarterback
- Gehrig Christensen, baseball player in Iowa
- Aaron Blom, Iowa kicker
- Dodge Sauser, ISU football player
Reportedly, the charges against Ulis, Christensen and Blom had been filed in Johnson County. On the other hand, Story County charged Dekkers, Sauser, Uwazurike and Johnson.
Charges Claim Using Third Party Accounts, Placing Wagers on Iowa Sports Events
Allegations against Johnson, the 2023 Big 12 wrestling champion within the 149 pounds category, claim that he used an account with DraftKings that was under another person’s name. Johnson allegedly placed 1,283 wagers between August 2021 and October 2022, totaling $45,640. Out of the total number of wagers, 25 were allegedly placed on ISU events.
On the other hand, Dekkers allegedly placed 366 sports wagers totaling $2,799. The Cyclones quarterback is accused of placing 26 bets on Iowa State athletic events.
Accusations against Ulis claim he used a FanDuel betting account under the name of his brother while he was under Iowa’s legal gambling age of 21 between February 2021 and December 2022 to place approximately 1,850 wagers. The sum of the wagers was nearly $35,000 and more than 430 bets were placed on NCAA football and basketball events with at least one wager placed on Iowa sports events, charges claim.
Baseball professional player Christensen is alleged to have placed 559 wagers via a DraftKings account under his mother’s name, between November and February. The total sum of the wagers is $2,400 and allegedly, 23 bets were placed on Iowa sports events.
Similarly, Blom is accused of having used a DraftKings account in his mother’s name to place approximately 170 wagers between January 2021 and February 2022, when he was still under the legal gambling age. Approximately eight wagers were placed on Iowa sports events, while the total sum of the bets surpassed $4,400.
The recent report reveals that an investigation into sports gambling continues so additional charges may be filed at a later period. It is yet to be confirmed what penalties may be implemented against the current and former athletes.