A recent report in The New-Press estimates as many as 900,000 Florida residents play online poker and one-third of those players gamble with real money. A Senate committee report released last month speculated the state could begin to receive revenue totaling as much as $37 million annually in just three years from the date online poker sites are established.
Florida lawmakers have carefully studied these calculations and the potential tax revenue that could be generated from legalizing and regulating online gambling under their watch.
Subsequently there are two bills being proposed that would allow pari-mutuels in the state, which involves the wagers and winnings on horse races, dog track races and jai alai games, to operate online gambling sites for Floridians.
The main champions of the bills, namely Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R-Miami) and State Representative Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington), have received considerable bipartisan approval but will need the support of the Republican majorities in both houses to see the bills passed into law.
In spite of a veto of the Intra-State Internet Gambling Bill by the New Jersey Governor on March 3rd, the merits of regulating online gambling have been debated in other states such as California. Recently, the Iowa Senate approved a bill at the committee level to establish regulated online poker for its residents and a new bill is expected to be introduced next month to legalize and regulate online gaming in the U.S. at the federal level.