March 5, 2024 3 min read


Iowa: Judge Dismisses Outstanding Gambling Charges against Athletes

Despite the dismissal, the DPS showed support for DCI's investigation, something the athletes' defense acknowledged as alarming

In a landmark betting scandal dating back to last year, nearly two dozen Iowa State and Iowa athletes were impacted by different charges after using accounts belonging to other people to place wagers. Admitting to lesser charges, some athletes faced different penalties, including temporary loss of eligibility from the NCAA, as well as fines. Still, the betting probe kept looming after lawyers representing a handful of athletes challenged the charges filed against their clients.

The attorneys claimed that Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the agency that collected the evidence that ultimately led to the charges against the athletes, collected evidence illegally. Subsequently, the agency tasked with overseeing the activities of the DCI, the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS), claimed that evidence in the case was collected “in a constitutionally permissible manner.” Ultimately, the athletes’ defense alleged that if evidence against their clients was collected through illegal ways, the charges against them should be dismissed.

In an unexpected turn of events, a Story County judge sided with the athletes’ defense, calling for a motion to dismiss the charges last week. The decision was announced on Friday, and it comes after the court concluded that the evidence collected by the DCI against the athletes was obtained through misused tracking software, as announced by the Associated Press. The Story County judge’s decision marked an important milestone in the legal battle.

DPS Keeps Support for DCI’s Betting Probe

Despite the latest decision, Stephan Bayens, DPS’ commissioner, released a statement regarding the investigation, saying that it is disappointing to see the dismissal of the four cases against the athletes. He acknowledged that regardless of the court’s decision, the DPS was previously reassured by the DCI that the investigation was conducted in a legal way.

The decision by the Story County Attorney’s Office to discontinue prosecution of these four cases is disappointing. Despite their decision, they repeatedly shared with us their belief that the Division of Criminal Investigation’s actions were legal.

Stephan Bayens, commissioner at the Iowa Department of Public Safety

The Sandy Law Firm, as well as attorneys Van Plumb and Matt Boles, representing the four athletes in the legal battle, criticized the support of DPS’ director of the “unregulated use” of tracking software. Moreover, they said that this unregulated use helped “conduct warrantless criminal investigations without reasonable cause,” something they described as “deeply concerning.”

The defense noted that it is alarming to see the DPS supporting the DCI’s investigation. Last but not least, the attorneys said that the discrepancies in the legal case were big enough for the Story County judge to dismiss the outstanding gambling criminal cases against their clients.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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