It is now (semi)-official: an online poker bill will not appear on any ballot presented to Iowa voters in 2014, though some hope lingers that such a move could happen as soon as 2015. This from an article released recently in Casino Enterprise Management, which reported on the declaration of Wes Ehrecke, the President and CEO of the IGA or Iowa Gaming Association, when he was interviewed as a guest on a panel for 2014 Gaming Predictions. For the coming year, Ehrecke said, the state’s focus will remain on land-based casino gaming operations.
Part of the problem with getting online poker on the table this session is purely logistical: the typical 100-day Iowa legislative session has been cut by two weeks this year. In the coming year, however, Iowa lawmakers will be watching closely what happens in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey, the three states where online poker and other forms of gambling have been legalized and launched for players residing within those states. If things go well in those pioneering online gambling states, it may bode well for Iowa’s online gambling prospects in 2015.
The general analysis of this predicament is that it represents the norm we can expect in the short term, as states considering iGaming (as the Internet gambling industry has now been dubbed) will sit tight for a while and see how things play out in these other states before taking any action in their own. So while Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have helped nationwide iGaming in the long run, some short term collateral danger seems clear and present.