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Iowa In The Mix To Become First US Online Gambling State

The state of Iowa has been out in front of the gambling revolution taking place in the US. Back when the majority of the casinos in the country resided in Las Vegas and Nevada, Iowa decided to legalize riverboat casinos. Other states soon followed, and now almost every state in the US has operational casinos.

A couple of days before Christmas, the Department of Justice changed their long-standing opinion on the 1961 Wire Act. In the new opinion, the DoJ claimed that only sports betting is illegal under the Wire Act. That left the door open for state lawmakers to start discussing the possibility of online gambling regulations within their borders.

Iowa considers themselves a leader in the gaming industry, so naturally, talk has begun about making Iowa one of the first states to add online casinos to their gambling repertoire. Iowa legislators had already been discussing the issue over the past couple of years, well before the DoJ opinion was released.

"Iowa likes being the first on these things," said Whittier Law Professor I. Nelson Rose, considered by many to be the top legal analyst when it comes to gambling in the US. Rose has been lobbying for online gambling regulations for several years at a federal level in the country.

Federal lawmakers are also considering possible changes to the current laws. Several bills are on the table that would circumvent the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, The UIGEA makes it illegal for financial institutions to process online gambling payments, although many of these institutions have gone on record as saying blocking these transactions would be nearly impossible.

Iowa commissioned a study that sought the financial effects of regulating online casinos. One such study returned data that asserts the state could gain upwards of $12 million annually in gaming tax revenue. Iowa has been in the casino industry for over two decades, and has profited hundreds of millions of dollars from the gaming.

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