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Iowa Looks To Legalize Video Game Tournaments

| 30 Jan 2014 00:00
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Iowa law currently limits video game tournaments with prizes to trackball-controlled golf games like Golden Tee.

Believe it or not, the state of Iowa only recognizes a video game tournament as a "bona fide contest" if it involves those golf games that are popular in bars, like Golden Tee Golf, in which you use a big trackball to whack your way around a virtual course. That may soon change, however, thanks to an amendment filed by House Rep. Chris Hagenow, which would recognize any kind of game tournament as legitimate and legalize the payment of awards to winners.

Hagenow's bill eliminates specific references to golf and the restriction of a trackball as the only allowable movement device. "The bill authorizes the paying of awards and prizes to participants in video machine tournament games," it states. "Under current law, only video machine golf tournament games using a trackball assembly are considered bona fide contests."

"It's a very narrow clarification of the law," Hagenow told the Quad City Times. "It does not allow for gambling or wagering or any of those kinds of things. We don't want to go there at all."

I'm not sure how likely it is that this will attract the ESL to Ottumwa, but it's certainly a long overdue change. Unfortunately, according to dumblaws.com, one-armed piano players must still perform for free in the state, but one step at a time, right?

Source: Quad City Times

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