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Tempting Tax Revenues for Florida – November 19th, 2009

Casino NewsA report commissioned by the state of Florida earlier this year (see previous InfoPowa report on bill HR225) has been presented to state officials, showing how the state could earn up to $90 million in tax revenues each year by legalising online poker.

The independent company American Poker Ventures delivered its report to the Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability last week in preparation for further debate scheduled for December 1st by lawmakers.

APV was assisted in its research by the UK gambling consultancy H2, which revealed that its tax estimates were based on total gross online poker rake of $226 million in the first year of legalisation, $331 million in Year 2 and $457 million in Year 3, from which the state government could expect a 20 percent cut.  The prospect of this sort of revenue will be appealing to a state desperately trying to balance its budget in trying times.

The report suggests a single-hub system that would be run by a private operator under contract with the state government after a tender process. Half the poker gross rake generated within state borders would be split among the card rooms and tribes with gaming compacts proposed as licensees, with 30 percent going to the systems operator, and the remaining 20 percent going to the state.  Up to a quarter of the state’s cut would be earmarked for problem gambling charities.


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