Florida's Bid To Legalize Internet Poker Dismissed

Published Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - Online-Casinos.com

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee in Florida USA has squashed efforts to bring online poker into the legal and taxable world. Florida has been attempting to make legal internet poker for a long time, recognizing the online gambling trend is something that is not going away and is indeed growing at a mammoth rate.

The tied vote of 2 against 2 for brought down the bill introduced by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Republican rep from Miami. The bill would have regulated online poker games through an intranet system operated out of the pari-mutuel card rooms already existing.
Diaz de la Portilla  explained to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, "What we're trying to do here is create Florida intrastate poker network and do it with Florida companies with regulations here, protecting from identify theft and protecting the consumer, and having revenue go to the state,"

If the bill had been adopted an approximate $10.5 million dollars would have been generated from a tax of ten percent on gross receipts from the wagering. An additional four percent of gross profits from betting on poker games would go to help purse sizes offered at dog and horse racing tracks in the Sunshine State. The move would have curtailed offshore operators from gaining revenues currently leaving the country.

The Florida Sheriff's Association lobbied against the legalization of internet poker in Florida. The Poker Players Alliance were also  against the Floridian move for legal online poker.
Frank Messersmith, a lobbyist for the Florida Sheriff's Association commented, ‚ÄúThis is really the ultimate convenience gambling,'' adding, "It provides anonymity in your home with no peer pressure, no social interaction." Messersmith was very critical of online poker calling it "internet crack"  that appealed most to young men adding that the move would do nothing to counter the use of offshore gambling sites. Messersmith continued to explain to the committee his point of view, "This is a form of digital escape to the anti-social people and it just opens all types of doors that we think is too opportune for people to be caught up in gambling,'' .



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