Debates Regarding Online Poker Regulation in Iowa
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February 11, 2012
Debates and discussions regarding the legalization of online poker have been continuing in Iowa for a long time. Reports suggest that a bill will be introduced in the state to regulate and legalize online poker at this month’s end. The battle for legalizing poker has just begun in Iowa.
Arguments were put forward by supporters of online gambling and also those who are against it. Jeff Danielson, state senator, mentioned that he will introduce a bill some time this month for legalizing and regulating online poker in Iowa. This move from the state senator comes after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) cleared its position on the Wire Act passed in 1961.
According to the DOJ’s announcement made in December, 2011, the Wire Act applies solely to sports betting and not other forms of gambling. It changed the scenario of online gambling in the United States, according to Danielson. By the end of 2012, it is expected that quite a few US states will adopt online poker regulations.
Two US States Already Legalized Online Poker
At present, only two states – Columbia and Nevada – have passed online poker legislations. The process of regulating the game has been initiated by quite a few states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and California.
Jeff Kaufmann Not Keen on Legalizing Online Poker in Iowa
Jeff Kaufmann, state representative, is against the legalization of online poker in Iowa. He is all set to fight against the bill that may regulate poker. Kaufmann stated that he is against the expansion of any form of gambling. There are evidences of Iowan residents who already play poker online for money at the poker rooms. Inspite of this, Kaufmann holds on to his position stating that legalizing poker will increase the number of gamblers in the state. He added that people spend money they can’t afford, on gambling. There are many families which have been affected badly due to gambling.
Kaufmann and Danielson Differ on Reasons for Regulating Online Poker
According to the commission for Iowa Racing and Gaming, if online poker is allowed in the state, tax revenues worth $3 to $13 million will be generated. Danielson stated in this regard that he wants poker to be legalized, but not for revenue generation. The state already has a surplus budget. On the other hand, Kaufmann stated that the initiatives to regulate online poker in Iowa are all about adding extra dollars to the state revenue.
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