1/18/2012 : State Senator airs the possibilities in newspaper interview
State Senator Jeff Danielson, who chairs the Senate State Government Committee in Iowa, had some interesting thoughts on inter-state collaboration in legalised online poker when he was interviewed by the local Des Moines Register newspaper this week.
Iowa has been one of the more active states in studying the possibilities of legalised intrastate poker and its potential to contribute to state coffers, estimating that the popular pastime could generate between $3 million and $13 million a year for state coffers.
Danielson said that the recent Department of Justice change of policy on what constitutes illegal gambling under the Wire Act was an influential event in the debate on legalization, and he revealed that lawmakers were considering the possibility of inter-state cooperation with other potential legalised poker states like Nevada and Washington DC.
Such collaboration between like-minded states could see the formation of a system that could tap into a wider overall population of poker players, increasing the pool of players and the appeal of the action.
Danielson said that the DoJ change of view cleared the way for a multi-state compact, and he drew a parallel between this and the state lottery PowerBall platform, which acts as a multi-state operator combining the population of 31 states.
The Senator revealed that he is currently working on a draft to facilitate such an arrangement, which he hoped to present to his colleagues in the state legislature prior to the end of the current session.
State Senator William Dotzler, a fellow Democrat, said that it is likely he will floor-manage such an Internet poker bill.
“I think the evidence is pretty clear that Iowans are already gambling online. We are losing a lot of revenue here in the state of Iowa, because Iowans are using off-shore Internet gambling accounts," Dotzler said.
US Digital Gaming exec Kirk Uhlers supported the idea, opining that an interstate online poker venture would deliver "a more robust opportunity."