here are a lot of sites out there and at the click of a few buttons players can win or lose they're hard earned money. Some lawmakers say making it legal and regulating it would be safer and will also bring some extra money to the state.
"Here's an opportunity for us$ 11.5 million a year for an activity that's already going on in the state where Iowans have exposed themselves to significant risks," said State Representative Doug Struyk, a Republican from Council Bluffs.
Thousands of Iowans are taking a gamble right now by participating in illegal, and online gambling through poker tournaments that are often off-shore and unregulated. But Struyk and other Iowa lawmakers want to provide a better way for those people to place a bet, and also for the state to get a piece of the pot.
"You actually have to go to one of the 17 casino's in Iowa. You have to make a cash of debit card deposit," said Struyk. At places like Rhythm City Casino, or Isle of Capri, people would deposit between us$ 50 and us$ 500. Then players can an access online account from a computer in Iowa to play poker. All the money would flow through the casinos and stay in the state. Some cities, like Davenport, may even get a piece of the profits, depending on who holds the gaming license.
"It's good in that aspect and the money that the RDA, who hold the licenses, pump into the local is economy is great too," said Davenport Alderman Bill Boom. However, Alderman Doom and other Iowans are worried making online gambling legal would cause more issues for people who already have a gambling problem.
"I think there would have to definitely be a lot of regulation with something like that. It would definitely lend itself to addiction more easily than something like a riverboat casino," said Anne Gindelsparger.
"I do know somebody who has developed an online gambling problem, doesn't need to leave the house to go to the casino. It's so easy to just click, click, click and then there's a problem," said Ellie Bonis.
The player would only be able to access their account from an Iowa Internet address. If the player wins from behind the computer screen they would have to go to the casino to collect their money. The online gambling legislation is in the drafting stages right now. If it moves all the way to approval the system could go online as early as next year.