Thursday January 23 ,2014 : IOWA WILL NOT JOIN THE ONLINE GAMBLING LEGALISATION TREND THIS YEAR (Update)
Experts say a "wait and see" approach is more likely.
Thanks largely to the efforts of Iowa state Senator Jeff Danielson, the state of Iowa was high on the list of US states expected to legalise online gambling, but after three years the proposal has gathered little momentum, despite the generally favourable conclusions of a study by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
Two experts this week explained the lack of progress and opined that legalization this year is unlikely to be an option. In essence, they said that state politicians are taking a cautious approach and waiting to see how legalization in Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada works out.
This week Poker News examined the situation, focusing on statement by Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association at a recent industry function.
“Rather, the industry will closely watch the introduction of i-gaming in New Jersey and Delaware, plus Internet poker in Nevada. This will be an opportunity to learn what is working or not, including their regulations, compacts with other states, etc., and decide on suggested language for a bill to consider in 2015,” he said.
Poker News followed that up with a request for comment from Matt Eide, a local lobbyist with Eide & Heisinger, who agreed with Ehrecke's assessment, adding:
"The Iowa Legislature will not consider any iGaming legalization this year. Although a bill authorizing online poker passed the Iowa Senate in 2011, the Republican controlled House does not want to advance this type of legalization.”
Eide said the state Legislature had a full roster of conventional gaming proposals to consider, including a fantasy sports bill. The bill, supported by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, seeks to define fantasy sports as a bona fide skill gaming contest under Iowa law, removing it from the scope of the definition of gambling.