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Iowa State Senator Fast Tracks Online Poker Bill

An Iowa State Senator has gotten his online poker bill through a senate subcommittee, fast tracking it to the next legislative level.

State Senator Jeff Danielson worked bill SSB3164 through the subcommittee even though anti-gambling groups have voiced their opposition. Currently illegal betting activity in the Hawkeye state is estimated at between $30 and $100 million per year.

Danielsons's bill would allow for the formation, regulation, taxation, and operation of an internet poker network. Other hub operators would also be able to partner with state controlled casinos to operate other sites for players aged 21 and up. Out of state residents would also be able to establish an account and play at an internet casino.

A recent study by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission claimed that between $3 and $13 million in tax revenues could be created by the online poker sites.

Among the politicians voicing their support for the bill were State Senator Wally Horn, who said “We have it out there. It needs to be controlled." Republican State Senator Rick Bertrand agreed, saying "I see this as an opportunity for Iowa to get out in front of this.”

The bill could be reviewed as soon as Wednesday by the Senate State Government Committee.

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