The legislation and regulation of online gambling has been one of the hotly debated topics in Iowa, and now, after debating and analyzing the issue for over a year, Iowa might finally legalize its online gambling industry.
The bill to legalize online gambling in Iowa is being discussed by a legislative subcommittee today. Those who support online gambling regulation in Iowa say that the online gambling industry is worth millions of dollars and that the state should grab its share of this lucrative industry at the earliest possible.
The issue was brought up during the legislative session last year, but was postponed to the current year to give the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission enough time to make a study of the pros and cons of online gambling regulation in Iowa. According to the commission’s report, regulation of the online gambling industry could boost the gambling revenue of Iowa to $13 million annually from a mere $3 million annually.
Brian Ohorilko, the director of gaming, says that one part of the bill is all about generating state revenue while another part of it is about protecting gambling customers. Currently, Iowa prohibits online gambling, forcing its gambling loving population to sign up at offshore gambling sites. If Iowa legalizes the industry, the state can control online gambling by preventing underage gambling, helping gambling addicts, and by creating a safe, fair, and secure gambling environment for those who wish to gamble.
Ohorilko says, “The individuals offering the games for play would go through an extensive licensing process just like any other casino would and therefore the people would know those people offering the games are suitable and of good character.”
The bill has opponents too, and those who oppose it are chiefly worried about the rise of gambling-related problems such as gambling addiction. They feel that the easy and free availability of online gambling venues can aggravate gambling addiction and underage gambling to a considerable extent.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, which has recently submitted its report, has clarified that it is neither for nor against the bill. Instead, it has only made a study of the various advantages and disadvantages of regulating and legalizing the online gambling industry in Iowa.
Those interested in the subject of legalizing online gambling in Iowa can check out the commission’s report by visiting the WQAD.com homepage and hitting on the large red box displayed there.