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Old 10-11-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
white_lytning
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Florida gambling & poker: laws, regulations and politics.

The upcoming few months are critical to gaming in Florida. There has been a lot of news in Florida in the last few weeks. This past week the Florida Senate put up a website asking for feedback from the public and in the next few months the senate will be holding several "town hall" style meetings.

The Florida legislature paid Spectrum Gaming to complete a report on the impact gaming has on Florida and what increased gaming, particularly large destination resort casinos, would have on Florida. The report consists of three parts. The first part is already released, you can find it on here: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/GamingStu...udy_Part1A.pdf (warning its long). The second part was due October 1 but was delayed. Spectrum was in front of the Senate earlier this week to present their findings.

Overall they found that there will be a minimal but positive impact on Florida and pointed out some of the issues Florida should address. It was clear the legislature had no clue what is going on in any area of gaming. There was a general lack of discussion about online poker and I think the public needs to do more to get it into the legislature's heads. The legislature is much more focused on reshaping the current bureaucracy and focusing on expanding gaming but has not discussed online gaming or online poker to a great extent at all.

The senate website offers us a way to get online gaming and online poker in their heads. You can find the form here: http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/fee...dians-gambling

Be positive and professional. Talk about how online poker is expanding in other states and based on the success of B&M rooms in Florida online poker would also likely be a good thing or something to this effect. I would write up a default post for copy/pasting but I think they get ignored as spam and aren't as effective (I also want to go have a few beers).

There are also going to be several town hall meetings in the next few months throughout Florida. It would be great if some of you could attend and ask questions at these meetings. The upcoming legislative session is likely going to change gaming in Florida dramatically, right now is a key time to get our voices out there. You can find info about these meetings here: http://www.flsenate.gov/topics/gaming

If you have any questions or anything, pm me or leave it in this thread.

Last edited by PokerXanadu; 06-25-2015 at 07:22 AM. Reason: Update title.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:19 AM   #2
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Thanks for posting. I will be following through with this in the next day or two. C'mon Floridians! Do you part and hopefully we can one day be a part of an expanding interstate market
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:50 AM   #3
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

The place to leave a comment for the Florida Senate is here:
http://www.flsenate.gov/topics/gaming

Note that when you leave on comment on the SunshineStateNew.com page, it is just a comment on that news site, not for the Florida Senate as it implies.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

I have requested to be a speaker at the October 30th meeting in Lakeland:

Florida can become an international hub for Internet poker. It can work in synergy with licensed Florida cardrooms, bringing increased traffic to the live cardrooms; international interest and tourism with tie-ins between online play and live tournament series; and new high-tech jobs for establishment and support of online poker platforms. Florida can utilize its extent regulatory expertise to become a worldwide leader and authority for online poker licensing and regulation.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
I have requested to be a speaker at the October 30th meeting in Lakeland:

Florida can become an international hub for Internet poker. It can work in synergy with licensed Florida cardrooms, bringing increased traffic to the live cardrooms; international interest and tourism with tie-ins between online play and live tournament series; and new high-tech jobs for establishment and support of online poker platforms. Florida can utilize its extent regulatory expertise to become a worldwide leader and authority for online poker licensing and regulation.
Good. I was hoping you would be showing up to one of these. Sry for the wrong link above, sent the e-mail to myself with the link and didn't even look at it before copy/pasting. I should be at the ones in the North (J'ville and Pensacola) but was going to try to make the Lakeland one too.

We need as many people as possible to show up and ask and or talk about online poker because its at the bottom of the list right now.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:12 AM   #6
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

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Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
I have requested to be a speaker at the October 30th meeting in Lakeland:

Florida can become an international hub for Internet poker. It can work in synergy with licensed Florida cardrooms, bringing increased traffic to the live cardrooms; international interest and tourism with tie-ins between online play and live tournament series; and new high-tech jobs for establishment and support of online poker platforms. Florida can utilize its extent regulatory expertise to become a worldwide leader and authority for online poker licensing and regulation.
I appreciate all you do to try and help PX. I will not be able to attend the meeting at which your speaking but I have no doubt you will do great! I hope one day we can join NV and NJ and bring back poker to Florida
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:11 AM   #7
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

My speech for the state meeting on Wednesday:

Quote:
In 2003, a 27-year-old accountant from Tennessee named Chris Moneymaker turned a $39 online poker tournament into a $2.5M prize, winning the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. This accomplishment was witnessed by TV viewers and poker enthusiasts around the world on ESPN, resulting in a boom of online poker from players in the U.S. and abroad, which then lead to a rapid growth in live poker room play across the country.

Since 2003, Florida card room revenues have grown from under $4M to more than $130M for the fiscal year ended last June. Twenty-six Florida pari-mutuel facilities operate more than 800 licensed poker tables, making Florida the third-largest market for regulated poker in the U.S., after only the states of Nevada and California.

Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have all passed the necessary legislation and regulations for online poker, with Nevada the first to market this past April. The early entrants to the licensing of online poker in the U.S. will be the future national, if not international, leaders in online poker regulation. Considering the direct relationship between the boom in online poker and the expansion of live poker gaming, the question becomes why wouldn’t Florida and its pari-mutuels, already a leader in regulated live poker, also want to be a leader in the regulated online poker industry?

The Spectrum Gambling Impact Study left unanswered three important questions in regards to online poker: Can it be successfully regulated, will it bring jobs and tourism, and can consumers be protected? I am here to report to you that the answer to all three questions is a clear and resounding ‘Yes’.

We have witnessed in recent years the successful implementation of governmental regulation of online poker operators in various jurisdictions, most notably France, Italy and Spain, and now the State of Nevada. Florida already has the regulatory resources and experience to achieve the same success.
With the proper legislation, Florida can not only bring new jobs and revenues for our in-state card room operators, but can attract the industry service providers to locate their national or international operations within our Sunshine State.

Licensed online poker will also attract both tourism and new residency to Florida. Just three years after lifting the poker wagering limits, Florida has clearly become one of the destination meccas for poker players. When you add regulated online poker into that mix, Florida will become the number one location of choice for many, inevitably leading to a new boom for Florida in both online and live poker. And with today’s technologies, consumer protections for online poker will easily exceed the standards provided at live venues, helping those who suffer from compulsive gaming, keeping out the underage, and protecting Florida’s citizens from nefarious operators.

Regulated online poker can be operated hand-in-hand with our live card rooms, bringing new jobs, tourism and wide economic benefits. Florida needs to enact legislation now to seize the opportunity to be a leader in this rising U.S. industry.

Thank you, and if possible I would like to enter my Guideline to Online Poker Regulations into the record, which discusses the issues and provides the language to develop the legislative and regulatory language for the licensing and regulation of online poker.
They are asking public comments to be limited to 2-3 minutes per person. Hopefully I'll be able to stretch it to get this entire speech read.

Last edited by PokerXanadu; 10-29-2013 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Good work. I was going to suggest you maybe try to shorten it. For the session in Broward they were limited people to 2 minutes, with a timer on the screen and cutting them off if the timer ran out. Maybe just cut out the first paragraph and try to get it out in two minutes. They will likely decide the actual time limits right before the meeting when they can see how many speakers actually showed up.

Thanks for doing this. It would be be nice if we could get someone to say something similar for us at the other sessions up north. If we miss out on this legislative session (which IMO we are going to) it will be a while before Florida revisit poker. Wish the PPA was doing more. /soapbox

Anyway, thanks and good luck.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:47 PM   #9
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by white_lytning View Post
Good work. I was going to suggest you maybe try to shorten it. For the session in Broward they were limited people to 2 minutes, with a timer on the screen and cutting them off if the timer ran out. Maybe just cut out the first paragraph and try to get it out in two minutes. They will likely decide the actual time limits right before the meeting when they can see how many speakers actually showed up.

Thanks for doing this. It would be be nice if we could get someone to say something similar for us at the other sessions up north. If we miss out on this legislative session (which IMO we are going to) it will be a while before Florida revisit poker. Wish the PPA was doing more. /soapbox

Anyway, thanks and good luck.
Thanks for that. If they use the timer method, I definitely have to tighten it up. I guess they just want to give lip service to the citizen's voice.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Excellent speech. I read it at a moderately brisk rate and timed it at 3:20.

I know you need to trim it, but would it be worthwhile to make a point about a high probability of success from a liquidity standpoint due to the Florida population of 19 million?
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
My speech for the state meeting on Wednesday:



They are asking public comments to be limited to 2-3 minutes per person. Hopefully I'll be able to stretch it to get this entire speech read.
Great speech PX. Best of luck and please let us know how it goes.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
white_lytning
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

For anyone interested Spectrum's final report is up. (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/gamingstu..._28Oct2013.pdf)

Its about 700 pages in total so the table of contents is your friend. We have been waiting to see the numbers they expect from expanded gaming. I wish I had a summary for you but I won't get around to reading the new sections until this weekend.

Also, for anyone interested you can view the Senate hearing tomorrow from a link on the Florida Senate's website. They stream it live from 3-6pm. If you expect it to be interesting you will be let down. PX will likely be the only person talking about online poker and he will be limited to two minutes. I'm sure he or I will be able to save you the time by posting a summary of what happens after the fact.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:02 PM   #13
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

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Originally Posted by sba9630 View Post
Excellent speech. I read it at a moderately brisk rate and timed it at 3:20.

I know you need to trim it, but would it be worthwhile to make a point about a high probability of success from a liquidity standpoint due to the Florida population of 19 million?
Thanks for the suggestion but I think the issue of liquidity would be too esoteric for this audience (the panel of legislators). I also appreciate the timing you did. Helps me see it from outside to judge how much I have to cut it down.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:34 AM   #14
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

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Originally Posted by PokerXanadu View Post
Thanks for the suggestion but I think the issue of liquidity would be too esoteric for this audience (the panel of legislators). I also appreciate the timing you did. Helps me see it from outside to judge how much I have to cut it down.
You're absolutely correct on the liquidity, good luck at the meeting.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:07 AM   #15
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

I hope it goes well today PX. Thanks for doing this.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:52 PM   #16
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Let us know how the meeting fared
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:05 PM   #17
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

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Let us know how the meeting fared
Fine. Had my two minutes of fame to read my speech and then left. Lots of Disney-sponsored "NO CASINOS" advocates there. Also a group of about ten 65- to 85-year-old ladies from Tampa, advocating for destination casinos.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:08 AM   #18
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Here's a CBS News article which gives a good summary of the Lakeland hearing:

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/10/30...fVhOTw.twitter
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:19 AM   #19
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

This session had much more opposition than the first one and probably will have more than the last two just because of the location. Disney is the biggest obstacle to any expansion in the state. Hopefully the Senate realizes that outside of the dogracing and Disney lobby most people support expanded gaming. Naturally the people with something to lose are going to be more vocal about any change.

Thanks for speaking PX, hopefully internet poker won't be ignored.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:34 AM   #20
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

I was able to follow up with electronic submission of my full speech and a copy of my Guideline to Online Poker Regulations, which will be part of the official public comment record.

Honestly, I doubt online poker will be included in any legislation that comes out of this Senate committee. The voice of the poker community is just too weak to get much notice. Donna and I were the only speakers there on behalf of online poker, despite the PPA notice that went out to 55,000 FL members. Anyone can sign up (online in advance or at the meeting itself) and speak for a minute or two at these meetings. If FL players want online poker, they have to show up and speak out.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:39 AM   #21
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

New poll shows support for destination casinos

Quote:
Almost two-thirds of Florida voters support the Florida Legislature establishing a limited number of "high-quality destination resort casinos" in the state to create new jobs and boost economic development, a new poll of Florida voters shows. The survey of 601 likely Florida voters, conducted by The Tarrance Group, also found that respondents have a decidedly negative view (67 percent) of Internet gambling in the state.

"The opinion of Florida voters is clear. When it comes to destination resorts, the answer is an overwhelming yes. But voters know what they like and what they don’t, and they overwhelmingly reject Internet gaming," said Dave Sackett, founding partner of The Tarrance Group. "It would be reasonable to conclude that Florida voters recognize the economic benefits of destination resorts, but also see the pitfalls posed by unregulated online gambling."
Quote:
Florida voters have a very negative view of Internet gambling and Internet poker, without any significant distinction between the two. Approximately 65 percent of voters have a negative view, with a clear majority expressing a "strongly negative" view.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:02 AM   #22
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

Holy crap. How was the online poker question worded?

Was it something like this: What is your view of unregulated online poker, which may lead to money laundering, organized crime activity, gambling and drug addiction, terrorism, and the deaths of countless unborn children?

I bet most people asked about online gaming know little to nothing about it, and just have a knee-jerk negative reaction. I guess we need to work to educate more people about the positive aspects of online poker.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:39 PM   #23
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

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I bet most people asked about online gaming know little to nothing about it, and just have a knee-jerk negative reaction. I guess we need to work to educate more people about the positive aspects of online poker.
This.

Most people think: online poker = online gaming = online slot machines = bad.
Poker has struggled to separate itself from other forms of gambling for years. Misinformation is just part of the problem anywhere its discussed.

Unfortunately PX is probably right and its unlikely that anything good will happen this session. I think the problem is that if the legislature does make major changes to the three big gambling chapters they will probably leave online poker out and be unlikely to revisit it in the near future.

IMO, realistically, the best thing that could happen would be the creation of a gaming commission with the authority to quickly pass new rules and regulations. This way online poker could be legalized at some future time without having to go through the legislature. Also unlikely, but more likely than outright legalizing it.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #24
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

The last Senate Gaming Committee Public Workshop was today in Jacksonville. It was a lot of the same that has been happening at all the others. This was the second of the five where someone spoke directly about online poker. The Florida PPA rep showed up and spoke. Unfortunately her message was unorganized and aimed at liquidity and not basic legalization issues. I appreciate her showing up and making the effort but it wasn't the best message. I really feel this was a missed opportunity and handled poorly by the PPA and any other poker lobbyist/enthusiast. Dogtracks and thoroughbreds and even the anti-ADW groups were all there in much greater numbers and present at every meeting while poker was limited to three speakers in total. I admit it is unlikely anything would change even with more effort but there should still have been a greater attempt.

Thanks for speaking PX. I'll keep this thread updated as the legislative session approaches.

For anyone still wishing to make a comment you can still submit them online here: http://www.flsenate.gov/topics/gaming.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #25
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Re: Floridians, its time to be active. Let the legislature know how you feel.

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The last Senate Gaming Committee Public Workshop was today in Jacksonville. It was a lot of the same that has been happening at all the others. This was the second of the five where someone spoke directly about online poker.
Thanks for going to the hearing. That's great. I wish every poker player down there would do so

Quote:
The Florida PPA rep showed up and spoke. Unfortunately her message was unorganized and aimed at liquidity and not basic legalization issues. I appreciate her showing up and making the effort but it wasn't the best message. I really feel this was a missed opportunity and handled poorly by the PPA and any other poker lobbyist/enthusiast.
Donna Blevins is a terrific advocate for the game. Sorry to hear that specific appearance may have missed the mark.

I'm not sure I'd say PPA missed an opportunity. After all, we're simply the result of the efforts of the community and have limited resources. If everyone who cared about the game shipped funds to PPA or toward any other effort in support of poker, we'd see a lot more activism. Same goes for volunteerism.

Unfortunately, when I mention limitations on what PPA can do, someone always replies to tell me I'm being defensive. I'm not. I'm simply being a realist. A 50 state effort is expensive.

Quote:
Dogtracks and thoroughbreds and even the anti-ADW groups were all there in much greater numbers and present at every meeting while poker was limited to three speakers in total. I admit it is unlikely anything would change even with more effort but there should still have been a greater attempt.
Those businesses footed the bill to participate there. It's apples and oranges.

If we players fund a limited effort, that's what we'll get. If we step it up, we'll see more. I don't think the message here is that PPA didn't give us enough. Rather, it's that donations and volunteerism need to increase.

Quote:
Thanks for speaking PX. I'll keep this thread updated as the legislative session approaches.
Yes...thanks for all you do PX.

Quote:
For anyone still wishing to make a comment you can still submit them online here: http://www.flsenate.gov/topics/gaming.
Thanks.
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