Iowa Online Poker Bill On the Move

by Lou on February 21, 2012

An Iowa state senate committee will consider a bill tomorrow to allow state-licensed casinos to run internet poker games.

“Today the policy is do-nothing by default,” says the bill’s chief sponsor, Senator Jeff Danielson, from Cedar Falls. “We neither prohibit it, nor do we say it’s legal. It’s in limbo, in the legal sense. Some might call it the wild, wild west.”

The bill would permit casinos to establish online poker games on computers that are physically inside the state’s borders. Players would have to go to a state-licensed casino to sign up, or already be a member of a casino player’s club.

“I believe we ought to have a thoughtful policy,” Danielson says, “a responsible policy that protects poker players so that they can be assured a fair game and a level playing field whether they play poker online or in a casino.”

Opponents of the bill, such as Tom Chapman of the Iowa Catholic Conference, doubt that security software would prevent kids from playing poker online.  Supporters of the bill say new G.P.S. software would be able to restrict the online gaming so people in other states and countries would not be able to play and security systems in Europe are already ensuring only adults are able to gamble online.

While passage in Iowa would not mean anything for the majority of Americans, it would send a message to other states looking at similar legislation, and maybe that’s enough to start the snowball rolling downhill.  Stay tuned…

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