Florida Introduces Intrastate Online Poker Bill
Florida’s HB 1441 Would Tax, Regulate Poker
A bill to legalize online poker within the state of Florida was filed today.
HB 1441, The Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010, would, according to the 42-page bill, “create a framework for the state to regulate Internet poker sites that can ensure consumer protections and additional revenue to the state by authorizing, implementing, and creating a licensing and regulatory structure and system of Internet poker.” (PDF of HB 1441)
State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington, pictured above right) filed the bill. He estimates that about 900,000 Florida residents gamble online and says the bill would generate more than $200 million a year.
Florida is facing a $3.2 billion deficit.
The state would collect revenue by charging a $500,000 fee to one or multiple Internet poker hub operators. The bill also states that each Internet poker hub operator shall pay the state 20 percent of its monthly gross receipts.
Florida’s Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering would supervise intrastate poker.
Poker players would have to be 21-years-old and physically present within Florida while playing.
The bill states that “Internet poker hub operator must register players and establish player accounts prior to play” and that accounts “may be established in person, by mail or telephone, or by any electronic means.”
The bill also lays out specific requirements for Internet poker hub operators, licensing requirements and consumer safeguards.
If passed, the bill would take effect July 1, 2010.
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