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Iowa bill on its way to a state Senate debate

Iowa's attempt to legalize intrastate online poker is on its way to a full state Senate debate after successfully passing through the State Government Committee on a vote of 9 to 6 this week.

The measure's main backer, state Senator Jeff Danielson of the Democrats, told the Associated Press news agency that Senate Study Bill 1165 places control of an online poker hub operator in the hands the state Racing and Gaming Commission, which would contract with existing state-licensed casinos to operate affiliated online sites within a "closed loop" in Iowa for registered players at least 21 years of age.

"It provides Iowa with an adjustment (to state law) to recognize that technology is outstripping laws," he said.

Danielson said both the state and gamblers would benefit from the intrastate poker action; state regulation and monitoring would assure fairness among gamblers, and the money would stay in Iowa.

"Iowa players will be paying Iowa players," he said.

Republican state Senator Jerry Behn gave notice that the bill could expect opposition, asserting that the latest expansion takes gambling a step too far.

"This is really changing the rules in the middle of the game," Behn said. "That's a road I really don't think I'm prepared to go down."

However, Wednesday's vote was not altogether split along party lines, though several Republicans opposed the measure. Danielson said he was bargaining to get Republican support.

"I want this to be a broad bipartisan agreement," he said.

Source: InfoPowa News

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