Poker players across Florida have come together to forward new legislation to authorize intrastate Internet poker in Florida in 2016. The bill provisions provide strong consumer protections for players, while reserving poker site branding and player access strictly to state-licensed cardroom operators. Under our bill:
- Licensing and regulation of Internet poker will be under the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering.
- Poker networks may be licensed by the state after meeting strict eligibility, suitability and technical standards.
- Only licensed Florida cardrooms may register players and offer play, through cardroom-branded portal sites to the poker networks.
- Only non-house-banked games of poker will be authorized, the same games that are authorized for play at the licensed cardrooms.
- Players must be at least 18 year of age and located in Florida at the time of play.
- The state tax on the monthly gaming revenues of the poker networks will be 10%, and from the remaining monthly revenues:
- The poker networks must distribute at least 40% to the cardrooms that are maintaining portals to their network.
- The poker networks must distribute 10% in even shares to all cardrooms maintaining a portal to any network.
- The poker networks must spend 3.5% of revenues on in-state advertising of Internet poker.
- The poker networks must distribute 1% of revenues to state-authorized gambling addiction programs.
Our draft bill is 36 pages long, covering all aspects of authorizing, licensing and regulating Internet poker within the state of Florida. The complete bill is available for download on our website: https://ipokerflorida.com/legislation/
With the likely changes to the Seminole compact and Florida gambling statutes coming this year and next, the time is right to petition the legislature to allow Florida cardrooms to take this Internet industry out of the hands of scofflaw offshore sites and into the hands of authorized Florida businesses. We hope to work together with legislators, the Florida cardroom operators and the poker networks, in partnership with our grassroots campaign by the players, to bring about introduction and passage of the bill in 2016.