Iowa Subcommittee Approves Legalized Online Poker

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Iowa Subcommittee Approves Legalized Online Poker

An Iowa Senate subcommittee on Monday approved a bill that would legalize online poker in that state. 

The vote came against opposition from family values groups like Family Leader.

“This is just the beginning," said Danny Carroll, a Family Leader official and former state lawmaker.  "The people of Iowa do not want it," he said, citing Iowa and national polls indicating a plurality of opposition to legalizing online poker.

Carroll has asked the three-member Senate panel to consider the dangers legalized online poker might have on families. 

Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Waterloo, remarked that prohibition has failed to curb illegal Web gambling, which is estimated at between $30 million and $100 million annually. 

"Today the policy is do nothing by default," Danielson said, noting the "wild, wild West" environment of unregulated online poker is further complicated by a vague federal approach to the topic.

The bill would allow for legalized real money intrastate as well as interstate online poker, whereby other states might want to enter into a pact similar to that of the lottery system Powerball. 

From the Sioux City Journal

Competing hub operators would be able to partner with state-licensed casinos under the control of the state Racing and Gaming Commission to operate affiliated online sites for registered players ages 21 and older who were located within Iowa's borders at the time they engaged in the online activity. Danielson said out-of-state residents would be able to come to an Iowa casino, establish an account and play during the time they were residing in Iowa.

"I agree something has to be done at this point," said Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City. "I see this as an opportunity for Iowa to get out in front of this."

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com


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