Iowa Attempts to Pass Intrastate Internet Poker Bill

Iowa seems to be the next state to jump on the legal online poker bandwagon. A subcommittee will meet today to discuss Senate Study Bill 3164, which if passed will allow licensed operators “to conduct gambling games on an excursion boat, gambling structure, or racetrack enclosure to operate internet wagering on poker and making penalties applicable.”

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s study revealed that up to $60 million could be possible collected by operators per year in rake, creating a potential of up to $13 million in tax revenue for Iowa at the rate of 22%.

As usual, critics of legal Internet poker are speaking up, expressing their concern that gambling addictions may increase, though the bill does address these concerns. For instance, the bill obliges that players must have the option to limit their maximum deposits per a 24-hour period.

The bill further requires that online wagers must be for poker only and players must be of the legal gambling age of 21.

Furthermore, the bill states that licensees must provide upon request monthly financial statements of online betting transactions, as well as calculations of all fees owed to government, the identities of all registered players, player account balances at session start and session end, time stamped wagers reports, time stamped game times, and registered player wins and/or losses.

Iowa makes the fourth state to attempt to pass intrastate online poker in two years. New Jersey, Hawaii, and Nevada have also made it this far, with only Nevada actually adopting the bill and following through with the necessary steps to make legal intrastate Internet poker a reality in their state. This is all in spite of the fact that federal government continues to frown upon state-level legalized Internet poker.


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