Iowa Looking at Multi-State Online Poker

18 January 2012

Another possible scenario that may be coming from the U.S. Department of Justice reversal of opinion involving online gambling is multistate poker and Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls believes Iowa can take full advantage.

Those in the Iowa legislature that want to have legalized online poker in Iowa are currently working on a new plan that may open the door to multi-state poker and possibly lead to agreements with Washington D.C., Nevada and some foreign countries to combine their poker efforts similar to the multi-state lottery system in place.

Sen. Danielson compares his proposal to the agreement Iowa has concerning Powerball and said, “We believe that because of the Department of Justice ruling, we can now have a multistate compact.” Though no timetable has officially been prepared, Danielson said he plans to draft a bill to legalize online poker soon and thinks it could be considered this session.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission released their report last month that said it estimates that the rake from online poker games could be between $13 million to $60 million annually.  This would translate to an estimate $3 million to $13 million in potential annual tax revenue assuming same tax rate as current Iowa land based casinos.

Sen. William Dotzler, D-Waterloo would serve as the floor manager of the proposed bill and stated,

“I think the evidence is pretty clear that Iowans are already gambling online. We are losing a lot of revenue here in the state of Iowa”

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