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Online Poker Gambling Could Be Regulated In Florida By July

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The state of Florida has been one of the most aggressive in the nation over the past several years when it comes to gambling expansion. Now, lawmakers appear ready to push the envelope even further by regulating online poker.

Earlier this month, legislators in New Jersey passed legislation that would legalize online casinos in the state. The Atlantic City casinos would operate the online sites, with the revenue being split between the casinos and the state government.

Florida is looking into several different forms of gambling expansion. Las Vegas gaming companies have been lobbying to bring Vegas-style casino resorts to South Beach and other tourist destinations in Florida. Governor Rick Scott has already met with Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson after Scott won the mid-term election back in November.

The plan being discussed for online poker would allow pari-mutuel facilities to offer the online gaming through a third party website. The pari-mutuel would receive a cut of each hand of poker that is played, and the state would then collect a ten percent tax on the rake.

In all, up to three poker sites would be used as central locations for the twenty-three pari-mutuels in the state. Many lawmakers are on board with the idea, and if passed, July 1st would be the day the law would take affect.

Opponents of the legislation are more against gambling expansion than this particular bill. Representative Dennis Baxley is hoping the state can find other ways to generate income, but the online poker plan appears to be on the top of that list.

If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signs the legislation passed by lawmakers, the state would become the first in the US to regulate online poker. California lawmakers are also discussing a bill that would regulate the industry. All of these states would have restrictions stipulating that only residents of their particular state could bet online.

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