Time Runs Out on Iowa Online Poker Bill
While many fans of online poker would prefer to see the United States Government regulate the game at the federal level, ensuring a fairly homogenous market, the likelihood of that happening in the near term seems, at least for the moment, pretty dim.
That being the case, it is almost certain that the trend of states taking action on their own to allow for players to access real money online poker games will continue, creating a somewhat piecemeal arrangement of states in which such wagering will be permitted. Making matters more confusing, some states, such as Delaware and New Jersey, have passed laws allowing broad forms of Internet-based betting, whereas Nevada has only regulated online poker and has excluded other types of online wagering.
One state that won’t be joining the roster of states to green-light online poker would be Iowa, as last week a bill proposed by State Senator Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Rapids) fizzled out in a Senate subcommittee after passing an initial vote several weeks back. It met the same fate of a similar bill proposed in the state last year, which also died in a Senate committee. The failure of the 2012 legislation was attributed to a lack of GOP support for the bill.
When the 2012 online poker bill was proposed, estimates put the potential revenue stream at somewhere between $3 million and $13 million. Iowa currently allows for several types of wagering, with both commercial and tribal land-based casinos present in the state and pari-mutuel wagering and lottery on offer to Iowans, as well.
Hawaii and its pristine beaches and perfect weather may seem a world away from Iowa’s rolling farmland and brutal winters, but one thing the states have in common is an unlikelihood to introduce Internet poker. Last week, Hawaiian legislators shut down a proposed online poker bill there, as well.
That legislation was said to have little support on either side of the aisle, which might not come as a surprise considering that Hawaii is one of only two states in the nation where all forms of gambling are disallowed – the other being mega-conservative Utah.
Many observers of the online gambling market in the United States have cheered the current state-by-state progress, noting that as more and more states begin to pass laws that allow their residents to place wagers via their computers and mobile devices, the competition for revenue between states will continue to heat up. Already we are seeing “races” being run between states, notably between Nevada and New Jersey as both states rush to roll out live gambling websites and position themselves to dominate the emerging market.
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