Iowan regulators are readying casinos for online poker, despite the fact that legislation hasn’t yet been approved.
The chairman for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, Jeff Lamberti said that the organization is preparing for the regulation of intrastate online poker because that was where the future of online gambling lies.
The chairman took this realistic approach as he commented on the legislation which has yet to be approved in Iowa. Lamberti said that the Hawkeye State has been watching the development of other states in this field and has thus taken the initiative to set up a regulatory framework so that it will be ready when laws change. Iowa recognizes that to keep abreast with competition, it will need into the realm of intrastate poker.
Lamberti stated that if the legislature tells them that they would receive authorization then the logical step would be to go ahead as planned with their current facilities. This would see a high level of integrity and regulation so that people who participate in online poker would be able to trust the product. He concluded that
if that’s what the legislature decides, we will regulate it and, hopefully, regulate it well.
There are currently 150,000 Iowans who regularly play online poker at offshore sites out of a total population of 3 million.
Plans for Iowa Online Poker
While no regulatory model has been decided upon yet, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is keen to ensure that it receives the resources it requires if intrastate poker becomes a reality.
The executive director for the Iowa Gaming Association, Wes Ehrecke said that regulators would prefer to have online poker offered through the website portals of licensed casinos in the Midwestern state, on a platform which is regulated by the organization. This, he said, would allow the regulation of underage gamblers and problem gamblers.
Ehrecke pointed out that online poker sites regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would ensure that players are protected and that payouts are guaranteed.