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Iowa Senate Panels Clear Online Poker Bill

Written By: PokerNet.com | February 21, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

Iowa has now approved a bill this previous Monday that has been designed to legalize online poker in the state and bring it under regulation by the state, as decided by a Senate subcommittee.

The legalization of the bill came about despite warnings and disagreements from opponents that the computer-based gaming initiative is highly addictive and would bring about complete online gambling that would be easily and readily available to all Iowan through various hand-held devices created to access them.

Family Leader Official and former state lawmaker Danny Carrol said This is just the beginning.”  Having asked the three-member Senate panel to give consideration towards the Iowan families that this bill would impact, the senators had voted that the Senate Study Bill 3164 would be sent to the Senate State Government Committee and would be considered as early as Wednesday.

“The people of Iowa do not want it,” Carrol further stated, citing that the state of Iowa, through national polls had indicated a plurality of opposition to the legalization of online poker.

Carrol further continued by stating that the state would take a much better initiative by declaring that online poker is a dangerous game and the state would offer and hold a much better standing if it were to guarantee that the online poker would not be found there, gaining a positive influence amongst families.

Senator. Jeff Danielson, D-Waterloo, said, however, that prohibition has resulted in a failure of other areas and that a much better approach would be to bring forward regulation to illegal wagering activity. This activity is estimated at between $30 million and $100 million annually and is needs to be regulated in order to protect the people of Iowa in an attempt to curb underage players away from gambling and contributing to a large amount of revenue lost through the illegal activities.

“Today the policy is do nothing by default,” Danielson said, noting the “wild, wild West” environment of unregulated online poker and that there is further complication as a result of a vague federal approach to the topic, which seems to be given little consideration.

Through the proposed legislation there is the authorization of the an online poker network to provide a regulatory structure which would help in the implementation, operation, organisation and taxation of the initiative. Furthermore, the bill would allow for intrastate, interstate and international arrangements. The expansion of the bill would also operate under the current state gaming fee structure, as stated by Danielson.

Many other senators also agree that there is a serious need for regulation and control of illegal gambling activities first before anything else. “We have it out there. It needs to be controlled,” said Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids.

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

[Source: Quad-City Times]

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