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Poker Players Alliance Against Iowa Internet Poker Bill

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Mar/19/2011
Iowa Internet Poker Bill

As Iowa races to become the first state to legalize Internet poker, one grassroots organization has other ideas.

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is steadfastly against any type of legislation that would be inclusive only to individual state’s residents. 

"We would be very concerned about proposals that would limit play just to Iowa residents,” said Poker Players Alliance President John Pappas. 

Allowing online poker on a state-by-state basis could balkanize Internet gambling and prevent the industry from developing a critical mass of players needed to provide entertaining games, he added.

Two weeks ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the last minute vetoed a bill that would have made New Jersey the first state to allow nearly all forms of online gambling.

This week, a federal measure was introduced by the House of Representatives that looks to legalize online poker and possibly Web casino games on the federal front.  It is not immediately clear if individual states can opt out as part of the proposed bill.

Nelson Rose of Encino, Calif., a professor at Whittier Law School and an industry expert, believes that the earlier we will see legislation passed on the federal front is 2014.  The states aren’t waiting around, he said.

"California is really seriously looking, and so is Florida and some other states as well."

The Iowa gambling proposal, Senate File 458, is still pending in the Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee.  It could be considered by the full Senate any time prior to the session ending. 

Pappas suggested that legalizing online poker only for Iowa citizens may result in nominal demand.  Iowa has an estimate population of just over 3 million people.

Rose agrees regarding the issue of critical mass that has caused so many other online poker networks to fail in the past.

"Players want to be able to have the game they want when they want it. So if you go on at 3 o'clock in the morning and you want to be able to play $5 or $10 Omaha, you need a certain mass of players to do that," Rose said.

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

 

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