Gambling Bill Passes Florida House, Awaits Governor’s Signature

April 20th, 2010 – by Glen Farmer

The gambling compact between the State of Florida and the Seminole Tribe had passed the Senate last week, and Monday was another good day for Florida gamblers. The Florida House approved of SB 622, the gambling compact between the Tribe and the State, in a vote of 74-39.

All that awaits expanded gambling in Florida is a signature by Governor Charlie Christ, though this is expected to go down promptly.

Under the compact, blackjack, baccarat, and similar games will continue to operate, as will the Las Vegas style slot games. Only five of the gaming centers on Florida will receive these table games, however.

Proponents to the bill revel in the fact that over $400 million dollars can be infused into the state’s budget on an annual basis. Revenue sharing, as well as up front costs, were included in the Bill. The Seminole Tribe will be required to pay a minimum of $150 million a year for two years, with a minimum of $223 million a year for the next three years after that.

In addition to the expanded casino gambling in the State, Florida legislature has also changed the rules surrounding poker rooms. Instead of holding a $100 dollar buy-in limit with relatively low stakes, there will soon be no cap on how much players may use to buy into cash games. Furthermore, the hours of operation have been boosted from 12 to 18 hours in a day. Tournament buy-ins have also been raised to carry no limit.

Opposition says that this bill is unnecessary, as the Tribe’s casinos were already running the table games that were technically illegal under state law. Furthermore, the stressing of social ills has been touted once more.

Unfortunately, out of all of the gambling legislation in Florida, there was nothing related to Florida Online Gambling in any of the texts.

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