A new study in Iowa by the Racing and Gaming Commission projects if lawmakers choose to legalize online poker within the state, operators could make between $13-60 million dollars a year.
The report goes on to say that if poker operators would be levied the same tax level that is currently being levied to most of the state-licensed riverboats and racetrack-casinos that the state gambling revenue would increase $3 million and $13 million annually.
According to the Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Jack Ketterer,
“Our goal was fact-finding and information-gathering that could help the legislators who might face bills to be better informed so they could make a public policy decision that was in the best interest of Iowa.”
Ketterer thinks the Racing and Gaming Commission would be capable of regulating online poker activity in the state if it should become legal in Iowa.
“How strictly it could be regulated might differ in different legislators’ eyes,” Ketterer said. “Our goal was to inform them as to what’s out there, what is the status of the industry right now, and then they can hopefully draw conclusions as to whether this is something that can or can’t be regulated to their personal desire and that they would be comfortable with.”
Projections using the commission’s research show that the number of online poker players at between 34,500 and 172,500. Gambling industry officials claim 150,000 Iowa players are playing online poker currently via illegal offshore poker sites.