UPDATE: Florida Senate Committee stops efforts to legalize local online poker rooms

Casino Watch Focus reported that  a bill had been introduced to allow online poker rooms at horse and dog tracks and other pari-mutuel locations.  The idea was to contract with three online poker companies to run the rooms and take a cut of each poker pot, know as a rake.  Now, an online source is reporting that the bill has been stopped in committee:

An attempt to regulate the burgeoning internet poker empire and start collecting state taxes from it died Tuesday when the Senate Criminal Justice Committee killed the bill with a 2-2 tie vote.

“This is really the ultimate convenience gambling,” said Frank Messersmith, lobbyist for the Florida Sheriff’s Association. “It provides anonynmity in your home with no peer pressure, no social interaction.” He called it “internet crack” that is particularly enticing to young males and will not stop the offshore gambling.

“This is a form of digital escape to the anti-social people and it just opens all types of doors that we think is too opportune for people to be caught up in gambling,” he said.

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