Iowa Moves Very Close to Intrastate Poker

March 14, 2012

Like other states, Iowa’s economy is losing millions of dollars and potential tax revenue to overseas companies thanks to online gambling. Unlike many states, Iowa realizes the problem and is taking steps to do something about it. The Iowa Senate voted in favor of intrastate online poker for Iowa-based players 29 to 20.

While both Washington DC and Nevada have also voted to allow online poker within their boundaries, they are still drafting regulations.

Senator Jeff Danielson (D) estimates that Iowans wager around $30 million on Internet poker each year, and that money does not return to Iowa’s economy, but is rather gone to the operators that are not based in the US.
Danielson said, “That’s a problem for our overall economy to see that kind of leakage.”

Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad is open to considering the bill.

Branstad said, according to the Chicago Tribune, “In terms of regulating and controlling gambling in this state, our top priority has been to keep it honest, clean, open, transparent and keep the criminal element out.”

During his tenure, Branstad, who is serving his fifth term, has signed bills that allow pari-mutuel racing and has created a state lottery as well as several casino-related bills. Iowa is home to 17 state-licensed casinos. If the bill becomes law, these casinos would partner with an internet poker operators in order to provide online poker games to Iowa residents.

The downside is that there us a deadline for this Friday for the bill to clear a House committee in order for it to become law. Whether or not they make the deadline, it’s still a move in the right direction.


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