Senator Jeff Danielson of Iowa Races to Legalize Online Poker in the State

By Maria McCoyGoogle

An Iowa legislative sub-committee is meeting to consider the bill proposed by Senator Jeff Danielson that would regulate online poker and legalize online gambling for games like poker. The consideration is based upon the findings of a recent study released by the state of Iowa that stated that the legalization of online casino games would generate between $13 to $60 million in one year alone, resulting in a $3-$13 million tax revenue boost for the state. Like all states, Iowa has suffered from the economic downturn of the last few years and this could be a much needed source of income.

The bill proposed by Senator Danielson follows the United States Department of Justice’s change of position on the 1961 Wire Act, which has now been interpreted as applying only to sports betting. Danielson stated that, the Department of Justice’s ruling “took a significant hurdle away from the ability to play poker online.”

He continued, “We believe by the end of this year you will see a handful of states continue to authorize it. “Because of the Department of Justice’s opinion, we believe you’ll see very quickly multi-state compacts.”

Danielson had tried something similar in the past, with Senate Bill 458. It failed to make it past this stage last year, however a new bill, SSB 3164, created with the support of United States Digital Gaming, is poised to receive quick consideration in the State Government Subcommittee in the coming days. There is a good chance that there will be success on this occasion. 

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