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Iowa The Latest State Looking To Legalize Online Gambling

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Jan/08/2011
Iowa Online Gambling

Following in the footsteps of New Jersey and California, Iowa is the latest state considering legalizing online gambling.

Gambling lobbyists are pushing for legislation that would allow the state’s just over 3 million residents to place bets online and play Internet poker by signing up via a local casino.

"I don't have strong feelings on that issue," Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, told the Des Moines Register on Friday.

Estimates suggest that approximately 150,000 residents of the state currently gamble online with companies based offshore.  Iowa does not collect taxes on such activity.

"Some efforts to take charge of our fate on this ... makes sense," Gronstal told the paper.

Individual states are looking for ways of infusing their struggling economies.  New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D., Union), claims that legislation allowing for legalized online gambling in that state could result in "over $1 billion in gross revenues for our casinos, $120 million for our state treasury, and a revival of tourism for Atlantic City and other areas of the state, like Monmouth County, the Meadowlands and the Cherry Hill area."

Iowa, unlike most US states, has not been as hard hit by the economic downturn of these past few years.  The state has seen economic growth over 14 consecutive months.  Iowa’s unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in November, well below the national average of 9.4 percent.   New Jersey’s unemployment rate was right at the national average while it faces a $10 billion deficit. 

Other states such as Washington have taken a completely opposite approach to the online gambling issue.  That Northwestern state has made it a Class C felony to place a bet over the Internet, the only state to hold the actual gambler criminally liable. 

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

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