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New Florida Internet Poker Bill Introduced

When it comes to Internet poker bill drama, count the Sunshine State up there with California and New Jersey. Like those two states, it’s seen a number of attempts to regulate online poker come and go in the past few years, most recently in March of this year.

Now, lawmakers are trying again with a new Florida Internet poker bill. HB77, the “Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2011“, was filed last week by Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, who was also behind this year’s earlier (and failed) effort to do the same.

But that failure may have been necessary to create a superior bill. Indeed, this new Florida Internet poker bill differs a bit from similar bills in other states. Unlike New Jersey’s proposed online poker laws, for example, in Florida, you wouldn’t have to be a resident to gamble online — you’d just have to be in the state at the time.

Like those other states, though, the bill makes it clear that online gambling (poker is repeatedly referred to as gambling in the text of the bill, which you can read here) will be run exclusively by Florida-based businesses, through a somewhat complex system of “hubs” and “affiliates” — not the kind of affiliates we’re used to here at CAP, by the way.

If passed, the law would go into effect on July 1, 2011. But don’t hold your breath on that; the bill faces a tough trail in the Florida congress. Still, it’s good to see that Abruzzo remains dedicated to his goal of regulated online poker.