Florida May Be First for Online Poker

Published Sunday, May 24, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

Florida lawmakers may have done a good turn for online poker players recently when a measure was placed into an unrelated regulatory bill that could see online poker becoming legal in the sunshine state. The move could make Florida the first to embrace online poker for the citizens of the state.

Passing the Florida Legislature by overwhelming margins, bill 425 contains a provision which requires the legislature's policy research arm to complete a study into the effects of internet poker on Florida's bricks and mortar poker rooms.

Lobbyists representing American Poker Ventures pushed to have the house bill introduced. It requires the policy arm to report by December 1st 2009, "regarding the enactment of laws to provide for protection and remedies from existing and unregulated online poker activities."

A political consultant from California, Jim Tabilio, heads up the newly organized American Poker Ventures LLC. Mr.Tabilio is also president of Poker Voters of America. This is a grassroots national lobbying group that is dedicated to protecting poker players rights by keeping elected officials as well as media informed about the impact of federal and states laws on poker players in the USA. Florida's regulated cardrooms are the proving grounds for the first attempt to regulate and control the very lucrative online poker industry.

This Florida bill is not quite the same as that introduced in California back in February of 2008 by assemblyman Lloyd Levine. AB2026 was a bill introduced to allow poker players to play online within the USA.

The non-profit group Poker Voters of America, takes a different tack from some of the different groups such as the PPA that are out there now. Poker Voters of America are the nuts and bolts political people who know how to get things done when it's legislative or campaign oriented. The group's message is obvious stating that there is no substantive difference between the way 70 million people play poker every week than the way they play online. Lots of people like to play and it is a harmless and fun entertainment value. People ought to be able to make up their own minds about how they want to spend their entertainment dollar.

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