After being approved by a legislative subcommittee earlier this week, Iowa Senate Study Bill 3164, which seeks to legalize online poker in the state, was sent to the Senate State Government Committee. On Wednesday evening, that committee passed the bill by a vote of 11-4.
“I don’t see this as an expansion of gambling,” Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City said of the bill’s passage. “I see this as an expansion of freedom.” While no one on the committee spoke against the bill on Wednesday evening, three Republicans and one Democrat did vote against it.
“We have a situation in Iowa where Iowa citizens are not being protected. This will do that,” said Sen. Bill Dix, R-Shell Rock.
According to KCRG news, “Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, said online poker had a 50-50 chance of winning approval by the full Senate — odds that he speculated were better than the prospects that the issue may receive in the Republican-controlled House. Wednesday’s committee action meant the online poker issue would remain eligible for more legislative work having met the criteria necessary to survive a Friday 'funnel' deadline for measures to clear a standing committee in either chamber to remain alive this session.”
*Picture courtesy of the Iowa Republican.