Online Poker on the Minds of Iowa Legislators

iowa-seal320Terry Rich is the Director of the Iowa State lottery and while one would think placing the state lottery online would be on Rich’s mind, that may not be the case. The Lottery Director recently spoke out about how online poker might be a better bet.  The state lottery is currently researching and developing strategies that could lead to online game play.

According to a recent report by, Rich spoke with lawmakers of the state on the 22nd and reminded them that state code does allow for online gaming with the lottery. The Director does not plan on going full speed ahead with online gaming this year but the option is under consideration, noting that ‘internet gaming is booming’.

Rich is now monitoring other states as well as the federal government to see how the industry develops. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission estimated in a recent study that that state has the potential to earn $3 to $13 million in just one year from online poker. The study showed that 150,000 residents play the game online and many residents even call a gambling help line at 1-800-Bets Off, with online poker noted as the top form of gambling.

Brian Scheonjahn is an Iowa State Senator and he spoke up as well about online poker stating that a state-run option would give residents a level of security that is not available on online gaming sites. Schoenjahn fears a simliiar situation to the Target fiasco just a few weeks ago when the credit card scam took place, so security needs to be in place. The senator feels as though if people are going to enjoy online poker anyway the state ‘ought to take a piece of the pie and regulate it’.

As of now, there has been no introduction of legislation in favor of online poker. Jeff Danielson, the Senate State Government Committee Chairman, stated that he does not see state legislature taking action in 2014 unless bipartisan support is shown for legislation.



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