The lawmakers of state of Iowa stated on Tuesday that they are apprehensive of the move to legalize online poker in the state as they are worried that it will lead to more people taking up gambling. A proposal which legalized the online poker services in the state with the state’s regulation was seen as sailing through the Senate without much resistance, with the Governor Terry Branstad cautiously supporting it. However, Tuesday saw the Senators halt the plans and voice their growing concerns about the welfare of the state’s residents which would be compromised if the bill came into effect. With this, the process of legalization of online gambling has come to a standstill, at least for the moment.
Senator Randy Feenstra described the bill as downright terrible saying that the state has passed various bills in the past which were against social evils such as violence, children abuse and credit card abuse and by legalizing gambling the state will effectively promote the cause of all such social wrongs. The model that the bill prescribed allowed the users of the poker accounts to deposit money into special accounts on online casino sites and also allowed them to access their special password protected accounts on their personal computers anywhere within the boundaries of the state.
The arguments given by the lobbyists for the gaming industry say that statistics suggest that almost 150,000 residents of the state already use online poker portals which are offered by off-shore operators illegally and this essentially deprives the state treasury of revenue which will amount to $30 million annually if these sites are legally recognized and subsequently taxed. Senator Bill Dotzler says that the possibility was very high that even more citizens would get into online gambling if the activity was sanctioned by the state. He, however, also said that he felt that the state should somehow regulate the industry to make sure that the citizens of the state aren’t compelled to give money to these offshore poker websites. The Senate file 458 was advanced by a bipartisan subcommittee of senators on Tuesday before being abruptly pulled off the list of bills which were scheduled for vote.