Efforts continue at the federal level to try to legalize internet gambling, while at the same time others want to ban the activity altogether.
Iowa Lottery CEO, Terry Rich, thinks another type of gaming is probably the wave of the future. “I’m not as interested in internet gambling as mobile gaming — being able to utilize a cellphone on a one-time purchase,” Rich says. He says you could for instance, use your phone to buy a Powerball ticket. “That’s probably the way when we get in will be more of the future than worrying about somebody sitting at home at night gambling on their computer.”
Rich says there would be more of a move toward mobile gambling if current revenue drops. He says the Iowa Lottery sees it as something that would happen if revenues started to go down or they want to supplement the traditional gambling. “That’s an option, but I think that that probably happens when the casinos also get the opportunity to do it,”Rich says.
He doesn’t see any changes in the near future. “I think we are probably years away, a year away, year-and-a-half away, two years,” Rich says. “We’ve done a lot of research, we are ready…when the demand is there. And I think the demand comes from the 25 to 31-year-old demographic.”
Rich says the one thing he wants to see is the Iowa Lottery retain control. “Our big thing is, it needs to be kept within state borders and controlled by our state legislators — not by somebody nationally or somebody in Las Vegas controlling whether we do or don’t do it,” Rich says. Rich says the state has shown it can regulate gambling in a way that ensures its integrity, and that’s why he wants any changes in gambling to continue to be regulated by the state.