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Play now!Iowa became the latest state to waste a chance to regulate Internet poker when a bill in the Senate went nowhere.

Lawmakers in Iowa couldn’t agree on a bill (SF 458) that would have legalized and regulated Internet poker. A senate committee instead decided to do what governments oftentimes do and that is put in more red tape. The bill is supposedly going to be amended and then reviewed by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

$30 Million Annually
Iowa could have generated $30 million annually in tax revenue if the bill had passes. Iowa has about 3 million people in the state and about 20 casinos. The state was looking to become the first to legalize and regulate Internet poker but the Iowa legislature made a mess of things. New Jersey would have been the first state to have Internet poker regulated but their governor vetoed the bill. Nevada now looks like the state that could be first in pushing a bill through and getting it passed.

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Lawmakers Disagree
Whenever a state has come close to legalizing and regulating Internet poker there has been pressure from outside sources to kill the bill. It happened in New Jersey and it happened again in Iowa. One of the Iowa senators said that lawmakers couldn’t agree on the subject. The bill would have allowed players to establish accounts with casinos and play online against other players. Taxes would have been collected and the state of Iowa would have made some serious money. The bill in Iowa is technically still alive but in reality it is dead. The legislature asked the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission to study online poker and report back on the subject. What that really means is that the legislature didn’t want to deal with the bill so they are having the issue studied.

Opposition to the bill in Iowa was pretty strong as some people in the casino industry opposed the bill fearing they would lose money. The bill actually didn’t even go as far as the New Jersey bill as it would only have allowed online poker, not other online casino games. It didn’t matter though as some groups put pressure on the legislature to not pass the bill. With Iowa now out of the picture it is really up to Nevada, California or perhaps Florida to become the first state to take the lead in legalizing and regulating online poker.


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