Another bill was submitted identical to what was submitted before the Senate subcommittee this past 2012. The bill is said to contain a proposition that will allow Iowa’s casinos to run online poker sites. This was not accepted by the legislation previously, however the General Assembly of Iowa is now reconsidering the proposal.
Will Iowa be the next U.S. State to legalize online poker? According to an interview done by O. Kay Henderson of RadioIowa, Senator Danielson said, “Both the technology and the cultural acceptance has gotten ahead of our ability to have a decent policy for what to do about it.” Based on the senator, it would be necessary to support Iowans in their desire to play online within safe and structured boundaries that are supervised by State
and Federal authorities.
What the bill seemingly states, is that a player who is not registered as a casino customer will be prevented from playing online games. The bill will even use resources such as software for geolocation to make sure that the devices used to access online gameplay are physically located within the state. This applies to all Iowans who are of legal age for gambling, which is 21.
There are of course people who are trying to stop the approval of this bill, such as Senator Randy Feenstra who asks, “How are we going to stop a 21-year old from giving his password to his 14-year old brother or sister to play the game?”
Tom Chapman, Iowa Catholic Conference Executive Director also said that he was troubled by the news that gaming is expanding and even going beyond the casinos found in Iowa. He said,
Making that quantum leap from those 21 locations to every household in the state and beyond…that’s a big difference. I don’t think we should underestimate what that might mean.
The PRO bill Senator Danielson said that contrary to what a lobbyist said about this bill being created for revenue, this was made to protect Iowans who are engaging in gaming.
To do nothing by default, I believe, is both wrong morally because it puts Iowans in a position they shouldn’t be in and also wrong when you look at the economics. This bill isn’t about revenue. This bill is about protecting Iowa consumers who are in legal limbo now because of inaction by the feds.
It became a battleground for the two senators as Senator Randy Feenstra launched his attack by saying, “I understand you’re saying it isn’t about revenue but it will generate a tremendous amount of revenue. It begs to question, though, is it like the red light camera? People say ‘it’s all about safety’…it generates a lot of revenue.”
There seems to be a sharp divide when it comes to this controversial bill. The legislation of online poker in Iowa remains to a big question after the Senate passes the bill. The House of Congress is not expected to entertain the bill immediately since it is not considered of high importance, although the Governor, Terry Branstand said said he is willing to reconsider the issue.