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Florida Looking at Online Gambling

2 November 2010 by admin

Although the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is still in place, there are some states that are beginning to look at online gambling and online casinos—most particularly California, New Jersey and Florida. But it is Florida that seems to be making the most headway.

True, UIGEA does prohibit online gambling, but it puts the enforcement of the law on financial institutions, meaning that it is illegal for financial institutions to process transactions to and from online casinos. However it does not directly say that US citizens cannot play online casino games. A nice little loop hole I am sure.

UIGEA also leaves individual regulation of online gambling up to each state in the union. And this is what Florida is looking at.

Actually Florida is being smart. They know their history. Look at Prohibition from the 1920s—which incidentally was almost one hundred years in the past from today’s prohibition. Back in the 1920s US citizens were banned from drinking alcohol. Typical of the ‘You cannot stop me’ feeling that this country was founded on, citizens found ways around Prohibition.

Now fast forward to today. It has been reported that one million Florida residents gamble online. That right there, in one state out of the fifty, shows how flimsy UIGEA is.

Florida is looking to take those one million Floridians that are gambling online, and turning that gaming into profit for the state.

The idea is to create a hub that would be regulated by the state. Companies that would like to operate online casinos in Florida would naturally have to pay a licensing fee, but the fee would be discounted for companies who want to be part of an affiliate program.

If you are a Floridian and like online slots, do not get excited yet. As it stands online slots are not going to be included in the state’s online gambling regulation. Yet. It is possible that online slots could be made legal in the future.

Floridians benefit from this two-fold. For starters, they do not have to worry about whether their online gambling activities are legal or not because if Florida regulates online gambling it would actually override UIGEA—at least within Florida. Secondly, there is the benefit from the revenue: programs and jobs. The revenue is projected at $200 million in the first year because of licensing fees, and $100 million in following years from taxes.

It is good to see that Florida was paying attention in history class. The last time the US government tried to stop its citizens from doing something they liked, they found a way to do it anyway. Such is the case with online gambling. It is best to just regulate online gambling and generate some revenue because, let’s face it, US citizens are not going to be stopped.

One Response to “Florida Looking at Online Gambling”

  1. Iowa to Regulate Internet Gambling? | Online Casino Suite Blog says:

    […] being signed into law at the end of the week (if it passes). California is close behind and Florida has introduced legislation, though it is unknown how much support the bill has. Now it seems that Iowa could be […]