Iowa Legislature to Re-Consider Online Poker Legalization

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In a move that is no doubt related to the public announcement last month by the chairman of the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission that his department is ready to regulate online poker should the legislature enact such a law, a draft online poker bill was reintroduced in committee in the Iowa Senate this week.

The bill mirrors in many respects a bill the passed the Iowa Senate last March, but was tabled in the more conservative House.  The bill addresses online poker only (no other casino games) but, interestingly, it does limit poker to individuals residing in Iowa.  Similar to a recent amendment being considered in Nevada, the Iowa bill would allow residents of states other than Iowa that permit online poker to participate in the Iowa hosted games.

This bill must still pass committee and then pass the Senate writ large, before coming, once again, up for a vote in the more conservative House.  If the bill passes the House, it would then come to the desk of Governor Terry Branstad.

Given the publicly stated position of the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission, the outcome of this legislative process 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 gaming venture, please feel free to contact us.

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