Online Poker Bill Iowa to be Discussed Again

Posted on February 21st, 2013 by Renee Kingsley

Online Poker Bill Iowa Discussed AgainAn online poker bill for the state of Iowa is again being discussed which would see land casinos in the state being allowed to offer online poker.

Online poker fans in Iowa are once again getting their hopes up with the news that an internet poker bill is again being considered. The bill which is named SSB 1068 has been introduced to the 2013 Iowa legislative session. In 2012, a related bill had been pushed in the Iowa Senate but never reached the stage of being read in the Iowa House.

The poker bill seeks to make online poker legal within Iowa but would not apply to online casino games. Any game that is played within Iowa poker rooms would become legal for online poker rooms in the state and includes games such as Texas Holdem Poker, Omaha Poker, Stud Poker and Draw Poker.

If passed, online poker would be allowed to be offered on riverboat casinos, in tribal casinos and at racetracks. It would not, however, allow any party that does not have a land-based gaming license within the state of Iowa to offer online poker. The bill even specifies that any party or organization that accepts online bets which violates the state and federal laws would not be allowed to operate in Iowa.

Online poker rooms in Iowa would be allowed to accept poker players from outside of their state, as long as it was legally approved in that state.  In addition, Iowa poker sites would be allowed to network between themselves and within other states if permitted.

The one big aspect of this Iowa poker bill that is being discussed is the proposed taxation on poker wagers. Iowa casinos would be required to pay a tax of 22% on cash game rake and fees from tournaments and would subsequently increase to 24% if the casino’s gross revenue from brick and mortar + online poker activities topped $3 million.

This proposed bill could be a decent form of income for the state of Iowa and it is estimated that between $3 – $13 million could be raised annually. One fact that was forgotten in this bill is the requirement to separate player funds from the online poker room’s general funds and this will be adjusted by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission once the bill is passed.

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