Gambling & Poker Laws in Iowa

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Like most states in the US, Iowa hosts a healthy population of online gamblers and poker players. Iowa also plays a key role in regulating online poker in the United States. Additionally, the Iowa poker laws and online gambling legislation are somehow unique.

Gambling activities not directly approved by the Iowa state government are considered illegal, but the severity of this charge is related to the amount of cash involved. The bigger the game or money at stake, the worse your crime will be if the activity is illegal.

This article will walk you through the real image of gambling and playing poker in Iowa, focusing mainly on online poker and gambling legislation.

Playing online poker in Iowa

The importance of gambling is legal and regulated sites are obvious. Gamblers want the assurance that there are rules to promote the games’ fairness and guarantee the security of the players’ data and funds. That’s why you should start by researching whether a poker site in Iowa holds a valid license to operate in the state.

Can you legally play poker online in Iowa?

In 2012, the Iowa state senate passed a bill to legalize online poker, but it, unfortunately, died in the house. Another bill to legalize online poker also died at a committee level in 2013. However, in 2014, Iowa lawmakers started monitoring legal online poker sites in Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, hoping to learn if it would work for Iowa.

The plan was to sponsor another online poker bill, but that didn’t happen in 2015. In fact, that was the last time that the Iowa legislature revealed plans to legalize online poker.

Does Iowa have plans to regulate online poker for real money?

It might be almost a decade since online poker legislation gained traction in Iowa, but the issue isn’t entirely dead. The rise of online sports betting in the state might have breathed a new life into the activity. All hope stands in the possibility that stakeholders and legislators will see the additional revenue that sports’ betting generates and reconsider legalizing online poker sites for real money in the state.

Are offshore online poker websites secure?

Although you might see several advertisements about offshore online poker sites operating in Iowa, remember that your cash isn’t safe with such operators. These websites aren’t normally regulated by federal laws and can close anytime, taking away your cash. When that happens, you have no legal recourse.

Regulation of online poker sites guarantees that federal and state laws protect your cash. State regulation can make a huge difference for online poker gamblers in Iowa. Until that happens, you will be much better at playing poker at sites that operate under known US laws.

The Future of legal online poker in Iowa

Any hope for legalizing real money online poker in the state hinges on the revenue of sports betting. The state of Iowa recently legalized online sports betting, and the resulting taxes and revenue are expected to whet the lawmakers’ appetites to start looking for more gambling revenue online. As such, legalizing online poker might be the next step in the evolution of the state’s gambling industry.