• Join Us
  • Follow Us
Poker News

Iowa Under Pressure for Online Poker

Written By: PokerNet.com | January 30, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

The state of Iowa has remained unregulated with regards to illegal online poker, but is however setting itself up for another legislative battle this year which could see the expansion of addictive online and electronic gambling from casinos to the modern household.

Citizens of Iowa have been expressing their opinion on last year’s federal crackdown on major illegal offshore poker operations and the introduction of restrictions on forms of internet gambling. This has added strain to the sports betting industry and pressure on the government within Iowa to create regulation to offer more outlets to adults players in an attempt to lower the number of illegal activities in place.

“It was a real surprise when (the U.S. Department of Justice) reversed what’s been a long-standing precedent on that, which I think potentially throws the door for Iowa not only to be one of the early states into the arena but even to go beyond their borders,” stated Tom Coates, an official with Consumer Credit of Des Moines, a leading gambling opponent in Iowa. “I was not worried before, but I am more worried now that it might go and that it will be a viable model and you will damage an increasing number of players and young players.” State regulators who studied the issue last fall were able to verify that illegal online poker is going on in Iowa, but they could not corroborate gambling industry estimates of 150,000 players. The Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission study also projected that legal online poker operations could generate between $13 million and $60 million in yearly activity which could produce an estimated $3 million to $13 million in tax revenue annually.

So far the lack of online poker has resulted in the loss of money, jobs and economic opportunity that could be brought about as a result. Senator Jeff Danielson says he plans to offer legislation as early as February that would allow for more freedom and provide online poker to Iowans via state-licensed casinos who will offer it.

“Over the last year or so we’ve had a tremendous change in the dynamics around online poker and I believe it’s the responsibility for us to have a thoughtful, responsible gaming policy when it comes to online poker,” Danielson said.

Many representatives within Iowa’s government see Iowa moving towards legalization but are unsure as of which path it will take in its progress, with some even questioning the necessity of it.

Tom Coates, official with Consumer Credit of Des Moines (who remains the leading gambling opponent in Iowa) said the argument to legalize because of lack of regulation is “the rationalization and the mantra of the scoundrel,” while Jeff Kaufmann (another gambling opponent) argued that adding another form of legalized gambling will mean an increase in the social and financial problems associated with gambling.

Certain representatives and other officials are still unsure as to how an online poker bill might fare in the Hose of State Government Committee and whether or not it will gather the necessary 26 votes to pass into Senate.

[Source: The Gazette]

Leave a Reply