Fiscal returns are being cited as the main motivating factor for Iowa to consider regulating online gambling later this year.
As most wait for the decision Governor Christie ends up making in New Jersey, the legislature in Iowa have been hard at work finalizing plans for an online gambling bill.
We already reported that the bill, introduced by state Senator Jeff Danielson on Tuesday, includes provision for the state’s licensed casinos to offer Internet poker to persons not at the actual venue.
The bill’s first obstacle is a vote in the legislative committee this Friday, 4 March. After this, both chambers of the Iowa Legislature must first approve the bill and finally it must be signed by their version of the guv’nor, Terry Branstad.
“This week marks a turning point for Internet gambling in the United States,” says Chris Krafcik, an independent analyst who tracks American Internet gambling policy for publishers and consultancies around the world.
“First, Governor Christie will decide by March 3 whether to approve, veto, conditionally veto, or abstain from voting on the Internet gambling Bill pending there. Second, a committee in the Iowa Legislature will decide by March 4 whether Internet poker will feature as a public policy issue this year. If Christie signs the Bill and the Iowa Legislature runs with Internet poker, Internet gambling will have taken big steps toward being recognized as the safe, secure and revenue-generative business that it is.”
It’s thought that Internet poker would generate around $35million in revenue each year for Iowa, slightly lower than New Jersey but still a figure that will help the state’s economy considerably.