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Iowa bill would legalize non-golf video game tournaments

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If you live in Iowa and you want to play in a video game tournament, state law limits your options to golf games with a trackball, like the bar staple Golden Tee Golf franchise.

But Rep. Chris Hagenow introduced a bill this week in the Iowa House of Representatives that would expand that limitation and allow Iowans to play in tournaments with other video game machines.

As seen in the excerpt below, H.F. 2702 would amend in Section 99B.11, subsection 2, paragraph e, Code 2014 of Iowa law by striking the world "golf" twice, adding a phrase to broaden the definition of controlling games and striking a phrase that limits lawful play to golf games.

A video machine golf tournament game which is an interactive bona fide contest. A player operates a video machine golf tournament game with a trackball assembly or by player-directed movement with a video or electronic gaming device which acts as the golfer's swing and determines the results of play and tournament scores.

The bill "authorizes the paying of awards and prizes to participants in video machine tournament games," though, according to a report in the Quad-City Times, Hagenow said that the changes aren't designed to allow for gambling.

"It does not allow for gambling or wagering or any of those kinds of things," he said. "We don't want to go there at all."