At Sports Media Network we have heard a lot of rumble about the fact that Florida may be the first state in the United States to legalize online poker.
The bill is being presented by State Representative Joseph Abruzzo and the bill is labeled the “Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010.” The legislation outlines a fully regulated system of online gambling in the State of Florida. If approved, Florida would be the first state to use the rules from the UIGEA act of 2006 to help regulate online gambling.
Representative Abruzzo claims that about 900,000 Floridians already gamble at internet sites that are run by unregulated “offshore operators”. He also claims that the bill he has presented would bring in more than $200 million in revenue in its first year. This bill would require a internet hub operator based in Florida to pay a $500,000 application fee it the State of Florida for a license. In addition those operators would pay the state a 20 percent gross profit tax. This 42-page bill includes provisions aimed at money-laundering and gambling addiction.
The bill that was filed by Representative Abruzzo would allow internet hub operators to run online poker sites. In order to gain a license, hub operators must be chosen by the state and some strict guidelines are outlined. First the operator would have to have a business license in Florida. Then secondly, they would have to be licensed in one or more US states and next, the operator must be licensed to play poker in a country outside of the United States. Once the online poker site is set up, there are strict rules in the proposal. For instance, the minimum gambling age would be twenty-one, and safeguards against any form of money laundering have to be in place. Also, the internet hub operator must also fully insure all software being used is up to regulation standards. In Florida, any licensee has to ensure that the player is protected not only from fraud, but also against themselves. Gambling addiction is one of top problems for lawmakers looking to expand and this bill has covered that. The Internet hubs must put limits on how many deposits and how much a player can deposit each day. In addition, a limit must be placed on how much a player can lose in a set amount of time. A time limit on how long a poker player can play in one session will be required as well. The amount of taxes winnings is always another issue when creating gambling laws and this act laid out by Abruzzo includes a plan for twenty percent of the winnings each month to be paid to the state in taxes.
We at Sports Media Network and our friends at PokerHost.com have no idea whether this complicated law will pass or not, and a lot depends on the ability of law makers to see the future potential for the stated of Florida and reconcile their differences on the internet gambling issue. On thing appears very certain and that is the fact that this Abuzzo Act of 2010 has covered all the bases for gambling proposals that normally get the bill thrown out which could certainly pave the way for Florida to become the first state in the U.S. to regulate online gambling. In the meantime while we wait and see the outcome of this legislation, come visit the outstanding PokerHost.com the internet place where online poker players are welcomed and receive VIP treatment.