(Population of 3.107 million as of 2014)
Iowa was an early participant in the Internet gaming race. In 2012, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission released a study that the legalization of online poker could generate between $3-$13 million in state tax revenue, and the Iowa Senate even approved an online poker measure that allowed state casinos and racetracks to offer Internet poker. That measure eventually died in committee.
The following year, State Sen. Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Rapids) introduced another bill, but like its predecessor it died in committee. Since then, iGaming movement has come to a halt in the state.
“No discussion in the 2014 legislative session will take place to allow authorization of online intrastate poker to be played via casino portals,” Wes Ehrecke, President and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association, said in a Gaming Industry Forecast for Casino Enterprise Management. “Rather, the industry will closely watch the introduction of iGaming in New Jersey and Delaware, plus Internet poker in Nevada. This will be an opportunity to learn what is working or not, including their regulations, compacts with other states, etc., and decide on suggested language for a bill to consider in 2015.”
According to Matt Eide, a native of Fort Dodge, Iowa who serves as an Eide & Heisinger, L.L.C. lobbyist for the Winnebago Gaming Development Corporation, the Iowa Legislature would not consider iGaming legislature in 2015.
"Although a bill authorizing online poker passed the Iowa Senate in 2011, the Republican controlled House does not want to advance this type of legislation,” said Eide. "The state does have a full plate of gaming issues under consideration. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will vote on whether to authorize two new casinos in the state. In the next six months, the Commission will vote on a proposed casino in Linn County (Cedar Rapids) and a proposed casino for Greene County.”
While the casino gambling remains legal in Iowa, soon to be a part of everyday life is daily fantasy sports, with a bill that is almost the same as one that failed last year. This time, however, wagering on fantasy sports would be covered by the gaming and gambling commission in the state, reported the QC Times.
Thus, daily fantasy sports would be treated like gambling, suggesting that online poker could soon be in the pipeline. No way to know for sure, but Iowa has continued to expand gambling in recent years and could continue to do so once this goes through.