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Online Casino News - July, 2009

Florida Online Poker Rooms Could be Regulated by 2010


  Seed Newsvine

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 at "legal" online poker rooms as early as 2010.



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