Earlier this month the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission filed the report required by last session’s Senate File 526 regarding online poker in Iowa. The report outlines how the legislature could regulate the playing of online poker in Iowa.
The report estimates that the online poker operators could make between $13 and $60 million annually. Assuming these operations are taxed similarly as casinos, the endeavor could create between $3 and $13 million in new state gambling tax revenue. It is important to note that if internet gambling were legalized in Iowa, it is likely that Iowa’s three Indian tribes would be offered the same opportunity under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Indian internet wagering is not subject to state regulations or taxation.
The United States Department of Justice has stated that any internet gambling that crosses state borders violates federal law. However, this does not prevent internet wagering that occurs only within a state’s borders. Currently both Nevada and the District of Columbia have legalized internet wagering operations—but neither has been implemented.
The Racing and Gaming Commission’s report can be found on their website at http://www.iowa.gov/irgc/.