Iowa considering legalized online gambling within the state

Sat, 27 Feb 2010 09:19
Several elected leaders say eight lawmakers are developing a proposal that might make Iowa the first state in the nation to allow in-state Internet gambling. State Rep. Doug Struyk, a Council Bluffs Republican, is part of a legislative working group on the issue. Struyk said Friday at Drake University that about 50,000 people in Iowa currently participate in illegal online gambling. He said the plan would allow people to deposit between $50 and $500 into a special account at one of Iowa's casinos. That account could then be used to play poker online — but only on a computer using an Iowa Internet address. Iowa may become the first state in the US that will allow their residents the right to do what they are already doing, to gamble online at a casino. With an estimated 50,000 Iowans betting online, lawmakers are seeking apiece of the revenue for the state. If approved, Internet gambling in Iowa could bring the state an estimated $11.5 million a year in tax revenue. With the economy limiting the state budget, that is $11.5 million that some legislators believe could be put to good use. Several states are considering similar proposals that would legalize online gambling. California, Florida, and New Jersey all have lawmakers pushing for some form of legalized Internet betting.

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