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Iowa Retrieves Online Poker Effort From Muck

Bill Brought Back To The Table After Failing Last Year


Iowa, which has looked at web poker the past few years, has another crack at the idea currently sitting in its legislature. A bill was brought back into play last Wednesday.

Senate Study Bill 1068 could eventually allow existing licensees to potentially offer web poker.

Iowa study bills are used to “determine reception of an issue” by lawmakers, according to a look at the state’s legislative process by the University of Iowa. If successful, a study bill leads to an introduction of an official proposal to move through the legislature.

The sponsors of SSB 1068 are Senators Jeff Danielson, Wally Horn and Randy Feenstra.

The bill could allow gamblers within Iowa to play online poker, but could also permit the state to offer games to players “from any other location where authorized by law, subject to any requirements adopted by the commission.” In other words, intrastate first.

Other states that have dabbled in the online poker concept have similar plans.

Iowa appears to be a state capable, willing and confident enough to go ahead with Internet gaming on its own, rather than hold out any hope for federal lawmakers to approve a bill. In fact, the Iowa Lottery CEO recently announced opposition to a federal plan.

There’s no mention of lottery in the new bill.

Casino companies which stand to potentially benefit from the legislation include Caesars Entertainment, Penn National Gaming, Isle of Capri Casinos and Boyd Gaming.

In 2012, the Iowa Senate signed off on an online poker bill, but the measure failed in the House. The majority of Iowans also reportedly oppose the idea of legalizing the activity.

According to a 2011 report released by Iowa gaming regulators, Iowans had given offshore online poker companies $13 million to $60 million in revenue annually. The proposed tax rate for online poker (22 percent) would yield $3 million to $13 million for the state.