As the reality of the recession hits the state of Florida and its constituents, lawmakers review report findings that show tempting benefits of legalizing online poker in the state. The dramatic shift in how Florida would view the increasingly popular pastime, would reap over $90 million via regulation and taxation.
Currently, the Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, or better known as OPPAGA, is reviewing the report findings and will be presenting their final verdict to the rest of the Florida Senate the 1st of this December. Naturally, the Florida branch of the Poker Voters of America is lobbying the OPPAGA with dogged determination before the legislative deadline.
Florida’s cut of the online poker revenue is slated to be in the 20% neighborhood. If the state online poker rake achieves the amount of $226m in the first year of legalization, $331m in the second year, and $457m in the third year, that possibly means a whopping $202 million dollars for the state of Florida and its public projects in the span of three years.
Such a budget boom would definitely be exactly what the the state of Florida needs given that they, like many other states, face the tough decision as to which programs must be cut in order to deal with their current deficit.
The dire situation is not lost on the president of the Poker Voters of America, Melanie Brenner, who explains how this unfortunate situation may be the silver lining for online poker players, “For us to be able to walk in with a solution for their budget problems is obviously very helpful when you are sitting down with an elected official. Although these are unfortunate circumstances, these have really helped give our cause momentum.”
Granted, not all of the states 20% cut will be used for repaving roads and the like. Up to twenty-five percent of the state’s online poker profits will be use to help rehabilitate compulsive gamblers.