The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s report on internet poker released today shows there are several ways the state could set up and regulate the on-line gambling in the state. The Iowa legislature asked for the report to determine the feasibility and possible income that could come from the enterprise.
Commission gaming director, Brian Ohorilko, says they used three national surveys on potential profit to try and project Iowa’s take. “The range is pretty wide, based on those projections it was anywhere maybe 2.9 million to 13.2, and we did include that in the report,” Ohorilko says.
Estimates given to the legislature last year said revenue could total between 30 and 35-million dollars, but the commission report says privacy concerns prevent those estimates from being verified. there are not on-line operations that can be used to directly compare the potential revenue that could be generated in Iowa, making the projections a best guess.
“It is just speculation, and so I think it would be difficult to really get a good handle (on the income),” Ohorilko says. The published studies used in the report varied widely in their projections of potential nationwide income.
The report also examines a number of systems for regulating internet poker. He says there are different levels the state could regulate and the report identifies those levels and tries to explain what could be regulated and what could not.
Ohorilko says for example, some type of “geo-location” technology is recommended to ensure gamblers are actually in the state. “There are a number of companies that provide technology to identify the I-P address for individuals when they are using their computer, so that was one of the recommendations, or one of the ideas of how you would regulate that area, is you would use geo-location technology,” Ohorilko explained.
The geo-location technology is not the perfect answer for keeping tabs on players, as they could use what’s called a “spoof” I-P address. Ohorilko says the system also can have a range of error that could be as much as five miles. The report suggests a layered approach that would use other types of technology to follow up the geo-location system.
The report also outlines some of the things that cannot be controlled. An example according to Ohorilko, is an adult who sets up an account and gives the password to a minor. There would be no way for the state to know the minor was using the account illegally. The report does not make a recommendation on whether or not the state should move ahead with internet gambling as that is not what the legislature asked.
Ohorilko says it simply gives the legislature information to work with if they decided to look at creating an internet gambling system in the next session. The report also did not examine how much it might cost to set up the on-line system within the state.
See the report at: www.iowa.gov/irgc.