By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
We reported last month the state of Florida was looking to join the great poker rat-race between the states to see which state would be the first to offer legalized, regulated online gaming.
It looks like legislatures in the Sunshine State have done some work, as Florida’s intrastate poker bill passed a vote by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee by a 10-2 margin.
The bill itself is remarkably similar to comparable bills that have recently been considered in New Jersey and Iowa. It would allow Florida’s 23 licensed pari-mutuels that already exist to create “hubs” which would be operated by a third party, and would allow online gaming to residents of the state.
Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla was named the sponsor of the bill, which carries the title SB 812.
With New Jersey’s passed gaming bill being vetoed by the governor, this leaves Iowa and California, and more recently, Nevada, in the mix for being the first state to legalize online gaming. Of course whether or not it proves to be the right move, with impending federal legislation in the works, remains to be seen.
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