Earlier we reported on a subcommittee hearing of an Iowa Senate Study Bill that would regulate Internet poker within the state of Iowa. To the delight of online poker players throughout the US, the bill was passed into law with an 11 to 4 vote. With Nevada on board with regulating intrastate online poker and California looking to legalize the game as well, every state that successfully passes online poker legislature is one step closer to the cause.
Republican Senator Rick Bertrand representing Sioux City, Iowa commented on the bill, “I don’t see this as an expansion of gambling. I see this as an expansion of freedom.”
Three Republicans and one Democrat did vote against the bill, though no one had anything to say against it. Republican Senator Bill Dix representing Shell Rock, Iowa said, “We have a situation in Iowa where Iowa citizens are not being protected. This will do that.”
Mississippi is another state that we may see attempt to pass an Internet gambling bill in the near future, as the Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act 1 of 2012 is in the works. This legislation will regulate all forms of Internet gambling and Internet poker as approved by the Mississippi Gambling Commission. The bill states that “the State of Mississippi finds that the state regulations of legal gaming in this state, and the provisions of this Mississippi Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2012, prescribe a lawful exemption to the UIGEA.”
Seeing states “exempt themselves from the UIGEA” is something the online poker community never thought would see the light of day, but that day has come, and US poker players have been very patient. Many believe that the Department of Justice’s change of stance on the Wire Act has helped open the eyes of state lawmakers that online poker is not the spawn of all evil. States like California that are desperately in need of a way to recover long-cancelled state-funded programs see intrastate poker as a way to generate a great deal of revenue for their state.
It’s only a matter of time.