Legal Online Poker in Florida a Possibility by July 2011

Published Monday, February 28, 2011 -

The race to see which state of the union will legalize internet poker is still humming along with Florida now close to a possible first.
The "Internet Poker Consumer Protection & Revenue Generation Act of 2011," or House Bill 77 would legalize Internet poker and capitalize on the growing poker playing trend happening around the world.

The Democrat Representative for Florida Wellington, Joseph Abruzzo, has sponsored the Bill along with other representatives which would see casinos, dog and horse racing venues and jai-alai arenas have online poker rooms made available.
A report in Florida’s Sun-Sentinel news had this Abruzzo comment, "There are hundreds of thousands of players in Florida in unregulated and unprotected offshore sites," Abruzzo added, "Why not legalize, regulate and bring in revenue from something that's already occurring?"

According to the Poker Players Alliance executive director there are eight to ten million Americans that play online poker at offshore sites. Of that number it is estimated that approximately 400,000 poker players hail from the Sunshine State. That’s a significant number that the government of Florida would like to gain tax revenues from.
It is not illegal to play online poker in America but it is a federal offence for firms in the USA to operate a poker game of any sort without a licence for real money stakes. House Bill 77, if passed by the Florida lawmaker would take effect July 1 2011, but big doubts surround the passing of the Bill.

"Florida is a conservative state and from an ethical perspective this could bring several implications along the way," stated University of Central Florida’s Student Government Association’s Regional Campus Director, Daniel Compte. Compte added, "I don't think the bill will pass because of past occurrences where the state keeps wanting to legalize online poker but the people don't,"



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