Iowa Latest State to Consider Online Poker Bill

by Lou on March 2, 2011

Iowa has become the latest state to consider regulating and licensing online poker within its borders, joining New Jersey, California, and Florida as states considering some form of intrastate gaming to raise revenues.

The Iowa proposal will reportedly allow Iowans over the age of 21 to play online against others in the state, though the bill is said to contain restrictions on maximum session lengths and fund limits.

The bill’s backers say that Iowans play poker at offshore sites now, and intrastate poker figures to keep some of that money within the state. The public has not yet seen the full version of the bill.  It is sponsored by Iowa state senator Jeff Danielson.

I have my doubts.  Even if this bill is enacted, Iowa is not a very populous state and may not have enough of a poker playing population to provide a variety of cash games and tournaments at a variety of limits to enable it to succeed.  All of the other states considering intrastate gaming—California, Florida, and New Jersey—are all large enough to support a sufficient number and variety of games to attract and retain players. While I wish Iowa all the luck in the world in enacting this proposed legislation, they simply might not have the critical population mass required to make a go of it.

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