In a recent change events for Florida poker players, a new proposal has been introduced to legalize full no-limit poker. This game will be allowed at all Seminole Tribe resorts/casinos and other betting sanctions across the state. Last week, the Florida senate displayed their plan to make these changes state wide. The key reasoning to their proposal is to raise revenue, and change Florida into a major gaming destination for not only vacationers, but for major televised events.
The current law in Florida does allow a no-limit type play, but the player is only allowed to buy in $100 max at a time. This law is a curse for many poker players. It has been complained that much of the talent and the raw skill it takes to play no-limit games has been ripped out and become a gambling fest. This is because that players cannot lose a majority of their actual money and they are willing to risk more at times during difficult situations because they can just rebuy for another $100 dollars. Pro player and Florida native Vanessa Rousso argued that skilled players “don’t have enough chips in front of them to play out the bets and raises that are required in the skillful aspect of the game.”
The proposal at hand would also increase the limit for tournament poker buy-ins. In doing this, it will allow major circuits such as the WSOP and WPT to visit Florida and sanction major tournaments. Currently in Florida, it is only allowed to host tournaments that have buy-ins for just a few hundred dollars. These rules have driven off all chances of having major tournaments. There has been much talk about the potential the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and casino has to host a tournament, but many of the tournament directors have backed out all talk because of the low limit buyins.
In addition to this new legistlation in Florida, it also trying to lower the minimum gambling age to 18 years old. Also, the proposal plans to add craps and roulette, which would spring board these casinos in to the market of elite casinos. It is estimated that making these changes to the gambling laws will increase revenue about $1 billion dollars a year for the state. Currently, Florida holds a $6 billion dollar deficit. This could entirely erase the deficit and free up more money for education, crime control, and renovation to lower income housing areas.
Governor Charlie Crist has already shown his support for this bill, but it is still to face opposition from another quarter. The state house has proposed its own bill which is designed to make the gambling laws more harsh and difficult for current casinos. The purposed bill will keep all laws that are in place, but also remove all card games that are being played in these gambling sanctions. It is said that the Senates bill will carry the no-limit law into place, which is good for Florida lawmakers because of the need to increase state revenue without raising taxes. If the bill passes, Mardi Gras poker room manager Wil Herrera has no doubts about its effect on Florida gaming: “Poker would explode down here.”