December 22,2012 : IOWA ONLINE GAMBLING INTEREST REVIVED
Industry leaders await the lawmakers
Iowa gambling industry leaders acknowledged Friday that internet gambling is the future of the industry, but that the approval of the state Legislature is necessary before progress can be made.
The Iowa Senate passed an Internet gaming bill in March 2012, but the measure was not considered in the House.
Residents in the state did not appear to favour the implementation of regulated and licensed online gambling, with a Register poll showing that 69 percent of Iowa adults opposed legalised Internet gambling for adults, and only 29 percent favoured it.
On Friday Iowa gambling regulator Jeff Lamberti, who is chairman of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, told the Des Moines Register newspaper that Internet gambling is the future of the industry and the state would be prepared to regulate it if the Legislature approved.
However, Lamberti stressed that the initiative to permit state-regulated land casinos to offer online action had to come from state lawmakers and the governor:
“That’s really where the next step in gaming is moving," said Lamberti. "We’ve seen some states approve it and are moving in that direction.”
Lamberti emphasised that any online gambling would have to be strictly regulated to the state's high standards of integrity and trust.
Wes Ehrecke, president of the Iowa Gaming Association, which represents state-regulated casinos, agreed that Iowa casinos would like to offer online table games such as poker or blackjack. He cited an estimate that 150,000 Iowans already gamble online through sites located outside the United States.