The game of poker has apparently been getting some good Karma of late, following the news that another U.S. State - none other than Florida - is considering the prospects of regulating the online version of the popular card game of skill. As unveiled in a seemingly unrelated piece of recently introduced legislation - Bill 425 - a measure calling for a study on the effects of online poker - both on Florida's brick 'n mortar poker industry and the poker players themselves - has overwhelmingly made it through the State Legislature.
Of course, there is still a long way to go for legalized online poker. The measure in Bill 425 calls for the State's policy research arm to report study findings by December 1, 2009. Specifically, these findings are to address laws that would protect citizens and address "unregulated online poker activities". However, with wording like that, you might ponder to think it could go both ways. In other words, while there is hope for legalization and regulation, if the findings are a threat against the brick 'n mortar poker sector, efforts could be engaged to flat out ban online poker.
The good news is that the legislative measure in question was pushed by lobbyists representing American Poker Ventures - a newly formed group with ties to the Poker Voters of America. And you just thought there was the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), right? Well, the APV may not have as many members of the PPA, but it seems they are making just as much progress, if not more, on the legislative front.
According to APV President, Jim Tabilio, American Poker Ventures is a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting poker players' rights via lobbying efforts to inform political officials about the impact of current federal laws on poker players. Setting themselves apart from the PPA, which some people would say has gotten too big for its skin and a little too confrontational, APV seems to be taking a more indirect, but potentially effective approach to regulating online poker. If things go further in Florida, the earliest we will know is December, 2009.