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Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Florida bill impact on Internet poker.

02-06-2012 , 11:07 AM
I was reviewing the latest version of HB 3 - Prohibition of Simulated Gambling Devices, which just passed favorably out of the FL house committees, and noticed that there might be an impact on Internet poker per the amended definition of slot machine in the bill:

Quote:
849.16 Machines or devices which come within provisions of law defined.—

(1) As used in this chapter, the term "slot machine or device" means any machine or device or system or network of devices that is adapted for use in such a way that, as a result of the exchange of any consideration whatsoever, such machine or system is directly or indirectly caused to operate or may be operated and if the user, whether by application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or any other outcome unpredictable by him or her, may:

(a) Receive or become entitled to receive any piece of money, credit, allowance, or thing of value, or any check, slug, token, or memorandum, whether of value or otherwise, which may be exchanged for any money, credit, allowance, or thing of value or which may be given in trade; or

(b) Secure additional chances or rights to use such machine, apparatus, or device, even though the device or system may be available for free play or, in addition to any element of chance or unpredictable outcome of such operation, may also sell, deliver, or present some merchandise, indication of weight, entertainment, or other thing of value. The term "slot machine or device" includes, but is not limited to, devices regulated as slot machines pursuant to chapter 551.
Although the bill is meant to outlaw Internet cafes, I believe that this amended bill could potentially be interpreted to include in the definition of slot machine any computer that is used to play Internet poker, including both offshore real-money sites and legal US play-money sites that award prizes.
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
02-06-2012 , 11:31 AM
So Pokerstars can offer ipoker to Florida residents?
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
02-06-2012 , 11:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOLRussians
So Pokerstars can offer ipoker to Florida residents?
No.
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
02-06-2012 , 12:30 PM
A particularly poorly worded statute. Although the intent seems clear from the title, the actual language would appear to make ATMs illegal too. It would seem to cover any machine which operates upon "any consideration whatsoever" and then dispenses credit "whether by application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or any other outcome unpredictable by him or her...."

So if there is a fee for use of the ATM and the outcome of the transaction is "unpredictable" to the user (whatever that means - maybe the transaction will be declined?), it would seem to be covered!

And those kids machines in which you put in a quarter and get a random prize worth a penny or a dollar, those are gone too.

Skallagrim
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
02-06-2012 , 02:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu
I was reviewing the latest version of HB 3 - Prohibition of Simulated Gambling Devices, which just passed favorably out of the FL house committees, and noticed that there might be an impact on Internet poker per the amended definition of slot machine in the bill:



Although the bill is meant to outlaw Internet cafes, I believe that this amended bill could potentially be interpreted to include in the definition of slot machine any computer that is used to play Internet poker, including both offshore real-money sites and legal US play-money sites that award prizes.
Wait, Florida wants to outlaw internet cafes?
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02-06-2012 , 02:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjSkyy
Wait, Florida wants to outlaw internet cafes?
Not legitimate ones. Just the ones that run sweepstakes or bingo gambling machines.
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
02-06-2012 , 02:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu
Not legitimate ones. Just the ones that run sweepstakes or bingo gambling machines.
Gotcha.

I've been hanging out in the jacksonville area for about a month now. I can tell you that this is a pretty backwards place, but outlawing internet cafes seemed pretty nutty, even for Florida.
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
02-07-2012 , 07:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skallagrim
A particularly poorly worded statute. Although the intent seems clear from the title, the actual language would appear to make ATMs illegal too. It would seem to cover any machine which operates upon "any consideration whatsoever" and then dispenses credit "whether by application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or any other outcome unpredictable by him or her...."

So if there is a fee for use of the ATM and the outcome of the transaction is "unpredictable" to the user (whatever that means - maybe the transaction will be declined?), it would seem to be covered!

And those kids machines in which you put in a quarter and get a random prize worth a penny or a dollar, those are gone too.

Skallagrim
Well, I guess I'd be for outlawing atm fees.

But seriously, I think there might be an issue for ipoker players, as the legislation is more likely to be interpreted as indirectly covering a "gambling" game than things like atm machines and kids prize machines. I hope the PPA will take a look to see if some FL legislature lobbying is needed.
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02-07-2012 , 07:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DjSkyy
Gotcha.

I've been hanging out in the jacksonville area for about a month now. I can tell you that this is a pretty backwards place, but outlawing internet cafes seemed pretty nutty, even for Florida.
sweepstakes cafes are goddamn gold mines. It is sickening how stupid some people are, and how much money a small one can make with zero risk. It is an agonizing thing on principle to want them banned, but they are causing some real damage.
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
02-08-2012 , 12:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu
I was reviewing the latest version of HB 3 - Prohibition of Simulated Gambling Devices, which just passed favorably out of the FL house committees, and noticed that there might be an impact on Internet poker per the amended definition of slot machine in the bill:



Although the bill is meant to outlaw Internet cafes, I believe that this amended bill could potentially be interpreted to include in the definition of slot machine any computer that is used to play Internet poker, including both offshore real-money sites and legal US play-money sites that award prizes.
Thanks for pointing this out. At the very least, it might be worth bringing this to Abruzzo's attention so that his bill can explicitly exempt online poker "machines" from the 849.16 definition of slot machine, should HB 3 pass.
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03-04-2012 , 09:52 AM
This bill (Florida HB3) has passed the Florida House and has been sent to the FL Senate (probably for a vote and likely passage this week). The relevant provision has been changed slightly, and now reads:

Quote:
849.16 Machines or devices which come within provisions of law defined.—

(1) As used in this chapter, the term "slot machine or device" means any machine or device or system or network of devices that is adapted for use in such a way that, upon activation, which may be achieved by, but is not limited to, the insertion of any piece of money, coin, account number, code, or other object or information, such device or system is directly or indirectly caused to operate or may be operated and if the user, whether by application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or any other outcome unpredictable by the user, may:

(a) Receive or become entitled to receive any piece of money, credit, allowance, or thing of value, or any check, slug, token, or memorandum, whether of value or otherwise, which may be exchanged for any money, credit, allowance, or thing of value or which may be given in trade; or

(b) Secure additional chances or rights to use such machine, apparatus, or device, even though the device or system may be available for free play or, in addition to any element of chance or unpredictable outcome of such operation, may also sell, deliver, or present some merchandise, indication of weight, entertainment, or other thing of value. The term "slot machine or device" includes, but is not limited to, devices regulated as slot machines pursuant to chapter 551.
Under this provision, possession of any computer that is used for online poker could potentially be illegal imo, under this Florida statute:

Quote:
849.15 Manufacture, sale, possession, etc., of coin-operated devices prohibited.—

(1) It is unlawful:
(a) To manufacture, own, store, keep, possess, sell, rent, lease, let on shares, lend or give away, transport, or expose for sale or lease, or to offer to sell, rent, lease, let on shares, lend or give away, or permit the operation of, or for any person to permit to be placed, maintained, or used or kept in any room, space, or building owned, leased or occupied by the person or under the person’s management or control, any slot machine or device or any part thereof;
The criminal penalties upon conviction include forfeiture and destruction of the property (computer); misdemeanor in the second degree for first offense; misdemeanor in the first degree for second offense; and felony in the third degree for subsequent offenses.

While the bill is certainly not intended to be applied to online poker players, I think that it could be construed that way at some later date if a politician or law enforcement agent gets a bug about it. I don't think it is likely to happen; just that it is possible.

NB Skall: A specific exemption for the kids machines (as long as the tickets you win aren't worth more than 75 cents!) was added to the bill in committee by amendment, so the politicians are certainly aware of the broad nature of the definition.

Last edited by PokerXanadu; 03-04-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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03-04-2012 , 12:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu
This bill (Florida HB3) has passed the Florida House and has been sent to the FL Senate (probably for a vote and likely passage this week). The relevant provision has been changed slightly, and now reads:



Under this provision, possession of any computer that is used for online poker could potentially be illegal imo, under this Florida statute:



The criminal penalties upon conviction include forfeiture and destruction of the property (computer); misdemeanor in the second degree for first offense; misdemeanor in the first degree for second offense; and felony in the third degree for subsequent offenses.

While the bill is certainly not intended to be applied to online poker players, I think that it could be construed that way at some later date if a politician or law enforcement agent gets a bug about it. I don't think it is likely to happen; just that it is possible.

NB Skall: A specific exemption for the kids machines (as long as the tickets you win aren't worth more than 75 cents!) was added to the bill in committee by amendment, so the politicians are certainly aware of the broad nature of the definition.
This seems a good bet to provide employment for some criminal lawyers in Florida, although the penalties seem aimed at coin-operated machines.

Not sure from reading this thread if the PPA has brought any lobbying effort to bear to clarify this matter. I can see the opinion that the bill is badly written and that it might cause headaches, but has it been "actioned", at least for the Florida based membership ?
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03-04-2012 , 04:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonkeyQuixote
This seems a good bet to provide employment for some criminal lawyers in Florida, although the penalties seem aimed at coin-operated machines.

Not sure from reading this thread if the PPA has brought any lobbying effort to bear to clarify this matter. I can see the opinion that the bill is badly written and that it might cause headaches, but has it been "actioned", at least for the Florida based membership ?
It's being looked at. No call to action yet.
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03-05-2012 , 01:41 AM
Since playing cards for money is already a misdemeanor in FL, I don't see this bill having any impact on players, but it could have an impact on whether or not FL is able to pass i-poker intranet legislation in the future.

Since the tribal casinos have exclusivity compacts for slot machines, any FL bill that might allow the lottery to serve poker (turning PC's into legal slot machines) would violate those compacts.

So this bill could be a good thing for poker players, since under that definition of a slot machine, the state shouldn't be able to monopolize i-poker.
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
03-05-2012 , 07:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiller866
Since playing cards for money is already a misdemeanor in FL, I don't see this bill having any impact on players, but it could have an impact on whether or not FL is able to pass i-poker intranet legislation in the future.

Since the tribal casinos have exclusivity compacts for slot machines, any FL bill that might allow the lottery to serve poker (turning PC's into legal slot machines) would violate those compacts.

So this bill could be a good thing for poker players, since under that definition of a slot machine, the state shouldn't be able to monopolize i-poker.
I'm sure you must be basing your opinion that playing cards for money is a crime in FL based on this FL statute:
Quote:
849.08 Gambling.--

Whoever plays or engages in any game at cards, keno, roulette, faro or other game of chance, at any place, by any device whatever, for money or other thing of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
However, it is untested in courts whether or not this carries over to the Internet, and there has been no FL legislation that yet addresses it. In addition, this new bill would increase the criminal punishments and put the personal property (computers) of players at risk of seizure. It would also give a new avenue of approach to someone who specifically opposes internet gambling.

Regardless, I doubt that the new bill will have an impact on i-poker players. I just think there is a small risk that it will, and now is our possible opportunity to close that door before it is passed.

As regards the tribal casinos and i-poker, that was already addressed in the Seminole compact. Under the compact, the state can pass legislation to authorize i-poker. If implementation if i-poker causes tribal revenues to fall below a certain level, the revenue-sharing payments to the state are reduced.
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03-05-2012 , 08:30 AM
There is also:

Quote:
849.11 Plays at games of chance by lot.

Whoever sets up, promotes or plays at any game of chance by lot or with dice, cards, numbers, hazards or any other gambling device whatever for, or for the disposal of money or other thing of value or under the pretext of a sale, gift or delivery thereof, or for any right, share or interest therein, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
They could use to go after online players, and:
Quote:
849.36 Seizure and forfeiture of property used in the violation of lottery and gambling statutes.
Basically makes anything remotely associated with gambling subject to seizure.

And when you read:
Quote:
849.46 Exercise of police power.

It is deemed by the Legislature that this chapter is necessary for the more efficient and proper enforcement of the statutes and laws of this state prohibiting lotteries and gambling, and a lawful exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the public welfare, health, safety and morals of the people of the state. All the provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes.
It's a wonder they don't have cops doing door to door searches now. If those in power wanted to go after online poker players, I don't believe they would need this new definition of slot machine to do it.
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03-05-2012 , 09:08 AM
I see. So then you consider poker to be a game of chance. Got it.
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03-06-2012 , 04:35 PM
Latest info is that the bill is DOA in the FL Senate for this year.
Florida bill impact on Internet poker. Quote
09-17-2012 , 07:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerXanadu
I see. So then you consider poker to be a game of chance. Got it.
Any game played with cards is considered gambling under Florida statutes, what I consider poker to be isn't important for this discussion.

I'm curious though why any bill that that seeks to shut down Internet Cafe's (such as Reid/Kyl) alarms you so much, most of us just want to be able to play in our homes.
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09-18-2012 , 07:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiller866
Any game played with cards is considered gambling under Florida statutes, what I consider poker to be isn't important for this discussion.

I'm curious though why any bill that that seeks to shut down Internet Cafe's (such as Reid/Kyl) alarms you so much, most of us just want to be able to play in our homes.
As usual, you assign your words to someone else's opinion. My opposition has nothing to do with opposing Internet cafe's, either here or to Reid/Kyl. One need only read my posts literally to see the reasons for my opposition to the specific bills' provisions. I do not have any hidden agendas, so no need to try to expose such.
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03-18-2013 , 07:48 PM
This bill has reared its head again in Florida, and it looks like it will pass this year:

CS/HB 155 - Prohibition of Electronic Gambling Devices

The relevant text this year will amend Florida statutes to read:

Quote:
(1) As used in this chapter, the term "slot machine or device" means any machine or device or system or network of devices that is adapted for use in such a way that, upon activation, which may be achieved by, but is not limited to, the insertion of any piece of money, coin, account number, code, or other object or information, such device or system is directly or indirectly caused to operate or may be operated and if the user, whether by application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or any other outcome unpredictable by the user, may:

(a) Receive or become entitled to receive any piece of money, credit, allowance, or thing of value, or any check, slug, token, or memorandum, whether of value or otherwise, which may be exchanged for any money, credit, allowance, or thing of value or which may be given in trade; or

(b) Secure additional chances or rights to use such machine, apparatus, or device, even though the device or system may be available for free play or, in addition to any element of chance or unpredictable outcome of such operation, may also sell, deliver, or present some merchandise, indication of weight, entertainment, or other thing of value. The term "slot machine or device" includes, but is not limited to, devices regulated as slot machines pursuant to chapter 551.
Once again, this will present a problem for online poker players in Florida, including both offshore real-money sites and legal US play-money sites that award prizes (and possibly even completely play-money sites like Zynga where points could be sold on a secondary market), effectively turning any computer used by a player in Florida for online poker into an illegal slot machine.
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03-22-2013 , 06:59 PM
This passed the Florida House today 108-7.
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03-22-2013 , 07:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokeraddict
This passed the Florida House today 108-7.
I anticipate that the Senate will pass it as well.
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03-23-2013 , 11:08 AM
this bill sux! there are arcades(slot parlors) on just about every corner in FL. those are "approved" but playing a game of skill in my home is not approved
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03-23-2013 , 11:10 AM
i guess those would be covered under the law, but there are an awful lot of them to be shutting them all down, and they have been here for years. why would they be an issue now?
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