Politicians in Iowa are working to assemble a poker system which could incorporate players from multiple regions of the country. Early sources have indicated that Nevada and Washington, D.C could serve as partners in this landmark proposition.
While gaming experts have raised concerns about the potential small player bases that intra-state poker would yield, the idea of a multi-state system could alleviate a great deal of these worries. Jeff Danielson, a Democratic State Senator from Cedar Falls, is one of the leading proponents of this proposed poker structure. According to the Des Moines Register, the 41 year-old believes that such a plan could follow the multi-state blueprint laid down by the Powerball lottery game, which incorporates players from 31 states, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.
“We believe,” he said, “that because of the Department of Justice ruling, we can now have a multi-state compact.”
Danielson is referring, of course, to the recent DOJ ruling on the Wire Act of 1961. Several of his colleagues have been quick to jump onto the poker bandwagon.
“I think the evidence is pretty clear that Iowans are already gambling online. We are losing a lot of revenue here,” said State Senator William Dotzler (D), referring to the millions of dollars spent on foreign gaming websites.
And the math doesn’t lie. Current estimates show that Iowa has a lot to gain from a possible legalization of internet gambling. The state’s Racing and Gaming Commission recently released a group of figures which forecasts potential earnings between $13 and $60 million each year from online poker rake alone. Taxes culled from the online winnings of state residents could add another $3-$13 million, assuming that the rate remains at the same 22% now used to tax casino profits.
For all the positives here, however, there are several factors which could limit the implementation of such a system. A 2011 poll by the Des Moines Register showed that only 23 percent of those surveyed were in favor of legal online gaming. A whopping 73 percent were against the idea, with 4 percent unsure of their leaning.