The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is just about three weeks away from releasing its report on internet poker. Division administrator, Jack Ketterer, says the report will give information, but not advice.
Ketterer says the legislature asked them to look at internet gambling in the state and a regulatory framework for it. He says lawmakers did not ask for a recommendation on moving ahead with internet gambling. Ketterer says they want to provide the information to let the legislature make its own decision on the issue.
Ketterer says their role is to gather information and collect facts so the legislature is up to speed when bills are introduced so “they can make an informed decision on what’s the best public policy for Iowa.” Ketterer says the issue of internet gambling is one that’s hot nationwide.
“It’s somewhat fascinating in that you see something on it about every day, it changes,” Ketterer says. He laughed and said there may be changes to the report. Ketterer says nailing down one key factor on the impact of internet gambling has not been easy.
He says one of the things the legislature and everyone else wants to know is how many people would do it and how much money it would bring in. Ketterer says the answer to that is “pretty speculative.” He says they are getting information from the sources they feel are the best informed and they will reveal those in the report.
Ketterer says they did see a survey of some of the people who play poker in state-licensed casinos and about half of them said they would play on-line if it was available, and half said they wouldn’t. The report will be released to the legislature on December first.