Legalization of Online Poker in Iowa Close

04/15/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

Senate File 2275, an “Act authorizing licensees… to operate internet wagering on poker,” passed the Iowa State Senate by a vote of 29 to 20 on Tuesday.

 

The legislation was introduced by Iowa State Senator Jeff Danielson in February 2012. He had previously been the sponsor of similar legislation that failed to make it through the Senate last year. At the time he stated, “I just think people need a clearer picture of the evidence and I don’t think they’re ready in this session to legalize it. So we want to give them the best information possible as we go into next year.”

 

Last year the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission commissioned a study on online casino games and online poker to determine the potential benefits to the state. The findings were made known in December and estimated that intrastate online poker in Iowa could potentially bring in $3 to $13 million in annual tax revenue. This coupled with the fact that at the end of last year, the US Department of Justice clarified that the Wire Act of 1961 only made online sports betting illegal made it possible for Danielson to reintroduce the online casino games bill. In January, he commented, “We believe that because of the Department of Justice ruling, we can now have a multi-state compact.”

 

The bill mentions both online poker within state borders and interstate online poker. Section 10, says “An internet wager may be placed from any location within this state or from any other location where authorized by law, subject to any requirements adopted by the commission.”

 

The legislation specifies that potential operators of top online casino games and poker sites would have to create a partnership with state-licensed brick-and-mortar casinos. It goes on to state that until a potential multi-state compact is agreed upon, operators of online casino games sites may only serve poker players within Iowa state borders.

 

 

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