On Thursday, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, signed a bill that calls for a study of intrastate online poker. The bill also includes other provisions favorable to the gaming and horse racing industries.
As a result, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will perform a study on the prospect of regulating online poker. The bill requires the study to examine:
the current state of unregulated internet poker play in Iowa, consumer protection and responsible gaming measures that can be implemented through regulation, licensing structures, regulatory recommendations, affiliations with licensees […], and the collection of wagering taxes.
The “societal impacts of internet poker in Iowa” will also be included in the study that is scheduled to be delivered December 1, 2011.
The state of Iowa is known for its influence on the US Presidential elections. The Iowa caucuses provide an early indication of the success that presidential candidates can expect from the remainder of the country. If their tolerance for gaming and desire to leverage the regulation of online poker is any indication of how the rest of the country will proceed, regulated online poker in the US is only a matter of time.