Mar 6 2011

Online poker bill falls in NJ moves forward in Iowa

written by: Steve under News, Poker Law Comments: Comments Off

While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was vetoing a bill that would have seen New Jersey become the first state to legalize and regulate online gambling, Iowa lawmakers were busy advancing an online poker bill of their own, as Senate Study Bill 1165 passed the State Government Committee by a 9-6 tally. The bill is now headed to the Senate Floor for a full vote where if it passes it will then go on to the State House, and hopefully it will receive the signature of Governor Terry Branstadt.

Unlike other measures attempted previously in New Jersey, California, and even on the Federal level, the Iowa bill that was introduced by State Senator Jeff Danielson only applies to online poker, and would also limit the scope of the law to Iowa –meaning the bill would legalize intrastate online poker where only Iowa residents would be permitted to play.

While the numbers are far from precise, an estimated 150,000 Iowans play online poker, and the independent studies have predicted that the state could reap a windfall of some $40 million annually from the measure.

Republican Senator Rick Bertrand is in favor of the bill but not for the typical reason. Bertrand sees the states in a race with the Federal Government to legalize online poker, and wants to make sure his state does not get the short-end of the revenue stick. reports Bertrand as stating: “If we don’t make a move now, the Federal Government is going to make a move in the next few years and we’ll lose the revenue… I think it’s forward-thinking.”

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