Undeterred by the actions of the United States federal government, the state of Iowa may soon be the first in America to have fully regulated and legal online poker available for it’s citizens. The Iowa Senate recently approved a bill which would allow the study of the potential state benefits which legalising online poker would entail. These include, among others, generating much needed tax revenue for the State.
The plan would be for Iowa poker players to have access to an intrastate poker room, which could be monitored and regulated securely by the state. The proposed study will be conducted by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, who would have to report on their findings to the State Legislature by December the 1st of this year.
With the Senate backing the plan by a 38 to 12 vote on Wednesday the 22nd of April, the required report would give feedback on issues such as unregulated Internet poker play, consumer protections, responsible gaming and regulatory recommendations. The bill was met with mixed reactions; some speculated that it could provide tens of millions of dollars in additional tax revenue, while others worry about the effects that expanding gambling in Iowa could have.
Should the test in Iowa prove successful, it may open the door for other States to follow suite.