There were high hopes for the inclusion of online poker in the new bill which was released on Monday by the Florida Senate Gaming Committee, but supporters of the popular game were disappointed to find that legalization and regulation of the industry seems further away in the Sunnshine State.
Although online poker wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the bill, there were new texts added to the current criminal section of the laws, making it technically illegal to operate an online gaming business. Analysts confirmed that this can be applied to the online version of the game. If your residence is in Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware you can play at and if you’re out of those states, Bovada is a good option.
The changes in the gambling bill came after the Senate Gaming Committee reviewed the current state of the industry and gathered opinions from the population. Senate has proposed the creation of a Florida Gaming Control Bill, which will oversee all activities in the industry. All similar activities, except only for the state lottery, will be controlled by the bill with all regulatory and executive decisions coming from its texts.
There are immediate positives for the industry in the state - two large casino destinations have better chances to complete some of their largest projects in Broward County and Miami-Dade after the legalities of the projects will be cleared up. Poker also gets a boost with the requirements for terrestrial poker rooms being reduced.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has the final say on any new gambling bill with his veto power, but his position on the matter has remained unclear, most likely due to the political ramifications a strong position on either side might have in an election year. The hopes for legislation for online poker remain slim for this session. Analysts feel that there might be a chance for a separate bill concerning only the online gaming to be passed, or maybe that it will be included in the current bill proposal before it reaches the state senate.