Florida Online Poker
Rooms Could be Regulated by 2010
by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer
July 3, 2009
Perhaps it's the sunshine that has some U.S. government officials
more interested these day in regulating online poker? Or maybe it's the
oranges? Higher-than-average concentration of surfers? See where I'm
going with this? Yes indeed, poker players have good reason to be more
hopeful these days, now that the State of Florida has followed in the
recent footsteps of California to begin the arduous process of getting
legislation passed to regulate Florida's online poker traffic.
As with all internet gambling regulatory bills, the first step to regulate
poker in Florida will be to undertake an exhaustive study of the current
poker activity taking place with Florida's borders. This will likely also
include an examination of the regulatory efforts being pursued in other
similar markets, such as that of the United Kingdom, which passed
legislation in 2005.
In the case of California, where poker studies have already been undertaken,
a proposal written up by former Assemblyman, Lloyd Levine (who supposedly has
found a loophole around the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), is
receiving major support from legislators and top leaders in the California
Assembly and Senate. With a looming $25 billion budget deficit, not to mention a
strong demand for poker, the popular "game of skill" could very well be the cure
for California's financial woes.
The Florida online poker industry could serve the same purpose for the
Sunshine State, where a growing deficit doesn't quite compare to that of
California, but nonetheless is drawing warranted concern. Just recently, the
Superintendent of Brevard County Florida Schools was forced to cut funding to a
Summer school program said to benefit over 14,000 children. So, now that these
kids have nothing to do over the Summer, perhaps they'll start playing online
poker. In that case, poker regulation in Florida better be on the way!
The Florida online poker bill sets forth comprehensive study and follow-up
report guidelines, and was first passed by the State legislature in May. With
Governor Charlie Grist's signature on the bill, the legislature now moves
forward to the State Senate, scheduled for debate and a vote in December 2009.
Not only will the Senate look at assessing the impact of online poker in
Florida, it will also consider statutory framework that would efficiently
regulated the Florida online poker industry and make it safe for State
residents. If all goes well, that could mean Florida residents might be playing
"legal" online poker
rooms as early as 2010.