Last Friday, Florida became the second state to file an intrastate egaming bill, when State Representative Joseph Abruzzo filed the Internet Poker Consumer Protection and revenue Generation Act of 2010. This submits plans for legal, intrastate online poker.
Under provisions within UIGEA, the Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act, states can authorize and regulate egaming within their borders. The bill proposes that Florida allow it’s 21 pari-mutuels to operate card rooms as licensees of online poker company’s. The players would be pooled into a central network. This network would be run by a central hub operator, chosen by the state.
Hub operators would be required to pay a non-refundable license fee of $500,000 to Florida’s Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering of the Department of Business and Professional regulation. They would then pay an annual license fee of $1,000 . They would also pay an additional 10% of gross receipts from the intrastate poker.
The state tax rate for the card rooms will be 20% of gross receipts of the rooms. Player protection and safeguards against gambling addiction are also in the bill.
Players would be required to be at least 21 years of age. Daily limits on deposit size and frequency are also proposed.
Florida’s legislative session is 8 weeks long, so they have their work cut out for them to get this bill passed in a form that everyone can agree to.