Iowa and Hawaii Scrap Online Poker Legalization

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Despite the surge in momentum created by New Jersey passing a law legalizing online poker in late February, two online poker bills have just died in committee this week in the states of Hawaii and Iowa, respectively.

While a similar bill was defeated in the Hawaiian House last March, some lawmakers had hoped that attitudes toward online poker – a potential boon to Hawaii’s tourism industry – had changed.  However, there was a bi-partisan lack of support for the most recent bill.

In Iowa, the public announcement in January by the chairman of the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission that his department was ready to regulate online poker should the legislature enact such a law, led some to believe that the time was right to push a bill through the Iowa legislature. However, although the bill passed two State Senate committees, it was voted down in the third.

While these two outcomes represent setbacks for proponents of legalized online poker, the legislative process in Hawaii, Iowa and in countless other states remains a work in progress.  The ongoing legislative process nationwide should be of interest to all gaming attorneys and those interested in Internet poker law in general.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a venture in this area, please e-mail us at, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

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