Iowa Legislatures Revisiting Online Poker Regulation

by Sadonna Price on January 28, 2013

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    An online gambling bill has been revived in the state of Iowa and legislatures are reviewing the bill once again to see if online poker can become regulated in the state. SSB 1068, the State Senate Study Bill 1068, is under consideration of the State Government Committee and would be the beginning of online poker regulations in the state of Iowa if passed.

    The bill is similar to the Senate File 2275 which is the 2012 version of the bill that made it through the Senate but did not move beyond the State House of Representatives. The new bill will require full committee approval before it will move on to a full Senate vote. The bill is for poker only and would allow gamblers in the state to play online poker with other people ‘regardless of location’, to the extent made permissible by law.

    New Jersey and Nevada are also debating the allowance of online poker for players in other jurisdictions. In Nevada the option has already been proposed while in New Jersey, the option needs to be signed into law by the governor of the state. The new Iowa bill will allow service providers to obtain licenses, however, the new law also includes a ‘bad actor’ clause which is for any company who has  violated ‘the laws of any jurisdiction where the service provider has operated.”

    Gambling operators will be taxed at a rate of 22 to 24 percent of their adjusted gross receipts. Operators in the state will also be allowed to deduct player rewards from the tax base, however this rate is extremely high, especially when compared to Nevada and other jurisdictions, even those overseas.

    The new measure also includes player protections provisions which will mandate operators to provide certain security measures that will ensure the integrity of the player’s wagers as well as give players the option to self-exclude themselves from game play. Daily deposit limits will also be set in place.

    If legislatures decide to go ahead with online poker options, the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission Chairman is ready. Jeff Lamberti, has stated in an interview last month, that his office is ready to put regulations in place in the option is made available in the state.

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