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FLORIDA ONLINE POKER BILL SHOT DOWN
Written On 4/14/11 By Recentpoker.com staff writer Emily Apontif :
2-2 tie in committee dashes hopes
The online poker legalisation bill proposed by Florida Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla has been crippled by a 2-2 tie vote in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, effectively killing the bill for this year.
The bill would have regulated strictly intrastate online poker games operated out of the pari-mutuel card rooms. Gross receipts would have been taxed at 10 percent -- estimated at about $10.5 million a year initially for state coffers - and another 4 percent of profits would go into increasing purses for the horse and dog tracks in Florida. The measure also would have barred competition from 'unauthorised' online gambling operators now offering their wares in the state.
Opposing the measure, was the Florida Sheriff's Association, who's lobbyist Frank Messersmith said: “This is really the ultimate convenience gambling. It provides anonymity in your home with no peer pressure, no social interaction." He called it "internet crack" that is particularly enticing to young males and will not stop the offshore gambling. "This is a form of digital escape to the anti-social people and it just opens all types of doors that we think is too opportune for people to be caught up in gambling,'' he said.
Gus Corbella, a lobbyist for internet poker operators, said that 80,000 Floridians have called lawmakers to oppose the bill because it is "monopolistic and unfair" and is “severely limiting the access that Florida players currently have.”
He said that while the federal law makes sports betting illegal, in online environment the law is “unclear at best” for online poker
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The Cambridge News reports that a 28-year-old manager of a Marks and Spencer store, Martin Trenor, has been jailed for three years for stealing GBP 254,538.11 in shop takings over the course of a year and spending it almost immediately at online gambling websites.
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The European Poker Tour is off to a good start in Malta, with German pro Dietrich Fast claiming a well-earned Euro 174,000 main prize in the Euro 10,000 buy-in Single-Entry Rebuy event.
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