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Iowa Lawmakers Suggests Multi-state Online Gambling Allowance

Online gambling proponents in the US have gone from deflated to exuberant in less than a year. After the Department of Justice issued indictments last April, many believed the US online gambling industry was doomed, but after the DoJ reversed course in December, proponents are now overwhelmed with possibilities.

Shortly after the DoJ released its opinion around Christmas, lawmakers in dozens of states started to ponder the question of how to bring regulated online poker and other casino games to their jurisdictions. Nevada, Washington DC, New Jersey, and Hawaii instantly took advantage of the new opinion, claiming that online poker was not far off in their states.

Iowa, which has been one of the leaders in the US gaming industry over the past couple of decades, believes that the online gambling can be taken further than just inside state borders. This week, Senator Jeff Danielson asserted his belief that Iowa could forge a partnership with other states to allow multi-state online gambling.

"We believe that because of the Department of Justice ruling, we can now have a multi-state compact," said Danielson. The head of the Senate State Government Committee has allies in that train of thought, as others see the potential for big revenue from the popular form of gambling.

"I think the evidence is pretty clear that Iowans are already gambling online," said Sen. William Dotzler. "We are losing a lot of revenue here in the state of Iowa, because Iowans are using offshore Internet gambling accounts."

Three of the most popular offshore online poker sites, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and Full Tilt Poker, were at the center of the DoJ indictments last year. The three companies have stopped accepting US customers, but that could change if state lawmakers follow through on their plan to regulate the billion dollar industry.

The legislators in Iowa pushing for regulation not only believe that multi state online gambling could be in the cards, but also multi-country betting. Dozens of foreign sites are regulated and have been searching for ways to legally enter the US market, which is considered to be the top gaming market in the world.

Danielson has the support of Iowa lawmakers, but still has some work to do to convince the voters in the state that online gambling regulations could be beneficial. A recent poll shows almost three quarters of those polled are against online gambling.

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