Iowa Senator Suggests Online Gambling Bust Hurting Local Economy
Iowa Senator Jeff Danielson is preparing a bill that would regulate online poker in Iowa. The legislation comes on the heels of the Department of Justice announcing that they have reversed their long-standing opinion that all forms of online gambling are illegal under the 1961 Wire Act.That admission by the DoJ, however, comes only after the same department handed down indictments last April against three online poker sites. Executives from PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were indicted on charges of fraud, with the government claiming the individuals disguised online gambling transactions to allow for processing.The Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 makes it illegal for financial institutions to process online gambling transactions. In the cases of the three poker sites, the government contends that it was the sites, not the banks, who were at fault for these transactions. When the indictment was handed down last year, millions of Americans were left without a safe place to play poker online.In addition, the players were not refunded the money they had in their accounts at Full Tilt Poker. While refunds may still be a possibility in the future, Danielson believes that the fallout from the indictment is still being felt around the US.”We have no idea where that money goes to,” said Danielson, as reported by ABC 6 News. “There’s no assurance that the players can actually receive their winnings and we’re at a point now where I believe it’s affecting not only Iowa’s economy but the national economy.”The solution, according to the Iowa senator, is to regulate online poker. The current laws are vague regarding online gambling, and Sen. Danielson is part of a movement to define the laws more clearly, allowing for regulated online casinos. Danielson’s bill would allow existing casinos in Iowa to operate online.Iowa is one of many states that have started the process of regulating online poker. Florida, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Connecticut have lawmakers working on various forms of online gambling bills, while Nevada and Washington DC have already passed online poker regulation laws. January 24, 2012Posted By April GardnerStaff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.comSubmit News!
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