For many years, online poker was allowed but unregulated all across the US. But luckily, things are changing. Slowly but surely, many US states are regulating online gambling, allowing local players to play the game and win cash prizes with straight flush combos.
Currently, online poker is regulated in 6 states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Delaware, West Virginia, and joining the market fairly recently – Michigan. However, while West Virginia regulated online gambling, it still doesn't have local online casinos available to join.
In the meantime, multiple states are still contemplating joining the ever-growing online casino market. That includes states like Illinois and Connecticut, and up until recently – players thought Florida was on the right track as well.
However, in a recent announcement, officials reported that Florida shelved the discussion for now. What has been going on in Florida? And what does the future hold for online poker in this state? Find out NOW!
Florida's Decision Regarding Online Gambling
According to SunSentinel, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis has been in discussions with the Seminole Tribe for a while trying to determine the future of gambling in the state. For three days, both parties tried to build a legal framework for gambling, and by the end of the third day – the bill passed. 97 officials voted in favor of the bill, with only 17 people opposing it.
According to the 30-year agreement, the Seminole Tribe will be able to provide sports betting services, in addition to having craps and roulette at its land-based casinos. However, at this moment in time, both sides agree to leave online poker out of the deal.
However, a small section of the 75-pages-long document states that Florida might re-negotiate the future of online gambling in the state within a 36-months timeframe.
If the US Department of the Inferior approves of the compact, tribal casinos will be able to offer sports betting as of October 15. However, the new deal might still meet some opposition, as some believe the compact violates a constitutional amendment.
Also, the No Casinos organization released an official statement that they will fight the compact.
But if the deal eventually comes through, it will have a positive impact on the local economy. Apart from creating thousands of new jobs, the state will receive about $20 billion in the course of the next few decades.
How Profitable Has Online Poker Been?
The financial benefits that the online gambling industry generates are rather impressive, which is why so many US states chose to regulate (ie. collect taxes on...) online betting in recent years. And the past year proved - without a doubt - that online poker and other forms of gambling are on the rise.
For example, Pennsylvania has released data showing a 293% increase in year-to-year revenue this March, generating $98m in gross revenue when it comes to online casinos and poker.
Michigan, which opened its first online gambling venues in January 2021, was almost as successful as the Keystone state. The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported online venues generated $95.1m in revenue in March, after making a profit of $75m the month before.
New Jersey reported making a $113.7m profit in March, but those numbers dropped to $107.7m in April. As life goes back to normal all around the country, land-based casinos re-open their doors, which is bound to affect online casino revenue. However, even though the numbers might drop a bit, online casinos will still be more profitable than they were before the pandemic hit us.
Poker players who reside in the Sunshine State still hope they will be able to play local poker online sometime in the future. Who knows? Maybe the loophole in the current agreement will allow online venues to open their doors in a few years. In the meantime, Florida residents will just continue to play at non-local venues like our very own, and very popular Intertops Poker.