A New Florida Bill Legalizes Online Poker

For a huge number of gambling lovers in America, the ban on online gambling has been a long standing misery. Online gambling is banned in USA under the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) of 2006.

Thankfully, some states like California, Iowa and New Jersey have understood the growing demand for online gaming and have legalized it. The latest addition to the list of pro gambling states may be Florida. A new bill that would legitimize online poker websites in the state has been filed by State Representative Joseph Abruzzo.

HB 1441, The Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010 is going to create the regulations for online poker rooms to ensure that consumers are safe and secured. Even though, there’s a monetary reason behind most states legalizing online gambling websites, it has come as good news for people who like to visit such sites.

Florida is expected to earn over 200 million dollars annually from such sites. This amount will be a boon for the state’s economy which is facing a budget deficit of $3.2 billion.

The government of Florida would charge a fee of $500,000 from the internet poker operators, seeking to receive a state license. In addition, online poker rooms will be obliged to pay 20% of their monthly income to the state.

The players to the legalized web sites will have to be at least 21 years of age and should be present in Florida to be able to enjoy online poker legally. All the web sites are required to be based in Florida, register their players and establish their accounts before they start playing. The accounts should be verified via mail, phone or by some other electronic means.  

If HB 1441 passes, it will come in effect from July 1st, this year; a date that many poker lovers will wait for with bated breath.