Saturday March 9,2013 : IOWA ONLINE GAMBLING LEGALISATION ATTEMPT FAILS (Update)
Danielson initiative fizzles out once again
Observers of the internet poker legalization scene in the Iowa Legislature might be forgiven for a sense of deja vu this week as Sen. Jeff Danielson's bill SB 1068 crashed and burned again, his third failure to get a legalization bill through.
Hopes rose last month when Danielson again launched his latest legalization attempt in the Senate, where a subcommittee progressed it to the Senate State Government Committee on a vote of 2-1.
Unfortunately it appears that that is as far as it went, a victim of the time constraints which funnel better supported or more urgent legalization forward for debate and voting, and abandons bills not able to make the cut-off.
Danielson's effort to regulate online poker under the supervision of the Iowa Racing Commission was supported by the state land casino industry, which would have had exclusive rights to licence online poker in Iowa.
Wes Ehrecke, president of the Iowa Gaming Association, which represents the state’s 18 commercial casinos, spoke in support of the bill, pointing out that Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware had all made progress in legalising internet poker, and many Iowans already play on a multitude of offshore websites.
However, the Republican chairman of the House State Government Committee, Guy Vander Linden, appeared to be lukewarm on the proposal, assuming it reached his part of the legislature. He questioned whether collusion could be eliminated in internet poker, but said that if the Senate approved the Danielson bill and sent it to the House, he would of course look it over.
But, he added, "It might be a short look.”
A recent Iowa poll commissioned by the Des Moines Register newspaper showed that 73 percent of respondents opposed online gambling.