Internet Gambling:Florida Bill Fails Miserably
To regulate cyber gambling in Florida, Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla’s bill did not progress beyond the committee stage. As it stands it faced some stern opposition from groups such as the Florida Sheriff’s Association and the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), these groups felt that it could have created unjust monopolies.
With a split vote the SB812 bill was killed-off by the Senate Justice Committee, whilst two members voted in the bill’s favour (Democrat Gwen Margolis and Republican Charlie Dean) and two who opposed it (Republican Paula Dockery and Democrat Chris Smith).
All we can say, is that the bill on the regulation of internet casinos in Florida has been knocked right back right into the Stone Age. There was a glimmer of hope and everybody expected the bill to pass with flying colours since it passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee by a 10-2 vote only a month ago.
Senator Diaz de la Portilla allegedly told the committee that, “It’s his main aim to establish and intrastate poker network in Florida and to ensure that it’s in compliance with Florida’s state regulations, by means of safeguarding players and installing ironclad security measures, last but not least, revenues from poker would have been ploughed right back into the state.”
The bill that makes provision for a 10% gross receipts tax would have filled the state of Florida’s coffers with $10.5m (£6.5m) per annum; Poker Voters of America initially drew this up in 2010. PPA campaigner Gus Corbella informed the committee that the group contemplated certain limits on which online gambling vendors.
Florida state director for the PPA, Martin Shapiro made use of the Two Plus Two poker forum recently to paraphrase his group’s view that SB812 “hampers competition and impacts negatively” on players and will not deliver the projected state revenue as stipulated and requested that Floridians should notify the senators as well.
Frank Messersmith of the Sheriff’s Association had no tact at all when it came to dishing out his disapproval, he told the Sunshine State’s local press that he considered internet poker “internet crack” and “the ultimate expediency gambling.”
The District of Columbia budget passed through congress the previous week, aided the 600,000-population jurisdiction to be the first state in America that would regulate internet gambling. Florida has now joined Iowa where both states’ intrastate gambling proposals were squashed in its early stages.[addtoany]