Today in Florida a bill was filed that will potentially legalize online gambling within the state. The bill, named the Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010 (HB 1441), would ensure the protection of consumers while recognizing and regulating intrastate Internet poker sites.
The bill was filed by Florida’s democratic State Representative Joseph Abruzzo. Abruzzo expects the bill will generate over $200 million per year, as over 900,000 Floridians are estimated to gamble online. An additional source of tax revenue is vital in Florida, as the state is currently facing a deficit worth more than $3.2 billion. The bill also states that Florida would collect a fee of $500,000 from Internet poker operators in the state, as well as 20 percent of the sites’ monthly revenues. Online poker players must be at least 21 years old as well as present in the state of Florida while playing.
If HB 1441 is passed it will go into effect on July 1 of this year. Florida is not the only state that is considering passing pro-online poker legislation. The states of New Jersey, California and Iowa, as well as a number of other states, are also considering opening up to the idea of intrastate poker. Legalizing online poker is proving to be a great way to increase revenues during the country’s current economic troubles. I, for one, am interested to see how long it will be before online poker is legalized and regulated throughout the entire United States.