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Florida Senate Committee Kills Online Poker Bill

SB812 Dies On a 2-2 Vote

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Sen. Miguel Diaz de la PortillaWhile efforts in Nevada to license and regulate online poker continue, the push in Florida will now have to wait after a bill to legalize intranet poker failed to be voted out of the state’s Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, would have brought in an estimated $10.5 million a year thanks to a proposed 10 percent tax on gross receipts, with another 4 percent going to assist parimutel horse and dog tracks in the state.

“What we’re trying to do here is create a Florida intrastate poker network and do it with Florida companies with regulations here, protecting from identify theft and protecting the consumer and having revenue go to the state,” Diaz de la Portilla told the committee.

Voting resulted in a 2-2 tie, which effectively killed SB812. The measure was strongly opposed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association and the Poker Players Alliance, who both felt that the bill created an unfair monopoly that benefited only the state-run parimutel card rooms. Had the bill passed, it would have effectively barred outside competition from existing offshore poker sites.