Online poker's status is really up in the air in the United States right now. Unless a miracle happens and the federal government regulates it on a national level, it's up to each individual state to license the game. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are currently the only three states that gives licenses to operate online poker rooms. However, Florida is getting some help with a push in the right direction from the new iPoker Florida online poker action group formed by Martin Shapiro.
The Push for Online Poker in Florida
The website for this new group shows how current debate for gambling in their state legislature has provided them a chance to get online poker pushed ahead. For Shapiro, this is a chance that may not come again, and he wants to make sure that everything is done to take full advantage. Along these lines, he's created his own proposal for legislation, and this includes comprehensive protection for underage players and for those with compulsive gambling issues. It's based on a market that will be free of political interference, and it even goes so far to offer solutions for interstate and international player pools.
The Interstate Issue
One of the issues that online poker runs into that isn't a problem for other types of gambling is the fact that it needs a larger player pool to get off of the ground. Poker has an ecology of its own, and that means that you need enough players to support the games before more players will want to join in and play. States having to regulate the industry on an individual basis has created a lot of problems because players aren't really interested in playing in empty poker rooms.
iPoker Florida and Martin Shapiro's proposals for interstate poker would be a key part of making online poker in the state successful. The precedent has already been set with Nevada and Delaware making a deal to share players, and Florida would just be continuing that common sense trend. We hope that Shapiro's efforts in Florida work out because more options for regulated online poker are a win-win situation for state revenues and players who receive more protection than playing with foreign operators where they have no resource if they are wronged.