Iowa Gaming Commission Promotes Eick to Administrator

Iowa Gaming Commission Promotes Eick to Administrator
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has a new administrator, a familiar face in the Hawkeye State.

On Friday, the IRGC announced the hiring of Tina Eick as the permanent administrator after a special meeting earlier in the day. Eick had been serving as the commission’s interim administrator since Brian Ohorilko resigned last month to take an executive position at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, which partners with Caesars Sportsbook Iowa.

Eick is just the fourth person to hold the top staff position for the Iowa regulatory body, which was established after the state legalized parimutuel wagering 40 years ago. She’s been with the IRGC for seven years and was its director of operations and deputy administrator under Ohorilko.

Must be 21+ to participate & present in Iowa. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA). T&Cs Apply.

Iowa Roots for Eick

A graduate of Iowa State University, Eick also holds a master’s degree from Drake University and graduated from its law school. Before joining the commission in November 2017, she worked for more than 23 years as an attorney with Hopkins and Huebner.

“Tina has the full confidence of all five commissioners,” IRGC Chair Daryl Olsen said in a statement. “She has an in-depth understanding of state regulations that pertain to this industry, strong relationships with IRGC staff and other stakeholders, and conducts herself with the utmost integrity.”

Despite being the 32nd-largest state with a population of just 3.2 million people, Iowa is a national leader in gaming. The IRGC oversees 19 commercially licensed casinos across the state and 18 licensed sports betting operators, including BetMGM and bet365 Iowa, offering in-person and online wagering. 

Casino gambling became legal in Iowa in 1989, and Iowa sports betting followed 30 years later.

According to the American Gaming Association, Iowa ranked 12th in 2022 for commercial casino revenue, with operators reporting $1.93 billion in winnings.

Iowa online casinos are not yet legal.

Must be 21+ to participate & present in Iowa. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA). T&Cs Apply.

Sports Betting Rules Changes Making Progress

Eick takes over as Iowa deals with criminal investigations into student-athletes at Iowa and Iowa State who have been accused of betting on sports through accounts listed under the names of their parents or other individuals.

Last August, as the investigations became public, the IRGC proposed new rules requiring multi-factor authentications for each device tied to the account at least every seven days. The amendment also would require operators to verify that the registered account holder is an authorized user on any funding source tied to withdrawals or deposits. If approved, the changes also would prevent any online sports betting account from being funded by a bank or other financial account established by anyone under 21, the minimum sports betting age in Iowa.

The commission voted to adopt the rules at its Jan. 25 meeting, and the next step in the process before they become enacted is for them to be presented to the Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee. That’s scheduled for March 4.



Steve Bittenbender

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.