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Little hope for the Iowa poker bill to be passed

Media reports from Iowa indicate there is little likelihood that bill 458, which seeks to legalise online poker, will be passed this year. Already just squeaking past tight legislative deadlines, the bill is bedevilled by opposition from poorly briefed politicians, and has now been referred to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for a full report.

The Commission would be charged with oversight of any regulatory regime introduced if the bill were to pass.

The bill's author, Senator Jeff Danielson, told reporters that political divisions on the bill meant it had been amended to first require a report from the Commission. Danielson is the chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, which approved the bill March 6 on a 9-6 vote.

Legislators said Friday they would continue working on the bill, but admitted that it was unlikely to advance as things stand at present.

Senator Danielson commented: "I just think people need a clearer picture of the evidence and I don't think they're ready in this session to legalize it. So we want to give them the best information possible as we go into next year."

On the positive side, support for the bill was evident, and it was across Democrat and Republican party lines. The main objections appeared to stem from fears that legalising online poker might increase problem and underage gambling.

Senator Bill Dotzler said he was not surprised the legalising initiative failed to make the floor. "I've been around long enough to know that bills of this significance sometimes take two or three years to garner support," he said.

Source: InfoPowa News

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