A new bill has been passed by the Florida State Legislature called the SB-788 No-Limit poker gaming bill. It allows various new venues to hold poker games legally. A good thing for gamblers in the state of Florida is the fact that race tracks are now allowed to have poker games. Previously, games set in Florida had a maximum buy-in at $100, poker tournaments had a maximum limit of $1,000, and the limit bets per round were $5.
Furthermore, one of the biggest changes the sb-788 bill has brought is the hours at which a card room can be open. The new bill has allows card rooms to be open 18 hours a day Monday-Friday, and twenty-four hours a day on the weekends. It has also raised the legal age limit in which a player can play from eighteen to 21 in Seminole nation casinos keeping it in line with the rest of the state. Finally, Hialeah park in Miami-Dade County has been also authorized for poker games.
The SB-788 bill was a widely debated topic before passing by a huge margin. The votes of 82-35 and 31-9 the bill seemed as if it was destined to pass all along even after some believed it was going to be very close. This was largely seen as a facade, because of the estimated $150 million a year in revenue for the state generated by gambling taxes. The billed seemed in good shape as well with Florida State Governor Charlie Christ endorsing the bill.
The Florida SB 788 No-Limit Poker Gaming Bill is just to most recent in a string of legal victories for poker gambling in Florida. As recently as 1996, only low-limit poker gambling was allowed (with a maximum bet of $10 per pot), and even then it was only allowed people's homes or in community centers. In 1997, when public pari-mutuel betting facilities (including poker card rooms) were allowed to open legally, the $10 per pot limit remained in effect.
In 2003, the $10 pot limit was removed. It was replaced instead by a $2 per round maximum bet, with a limit of only three raises allowed per betting round. In 2007, no-limit poker was legalized in Florida. The new law, however, mandated a maximum buy-in limit of $100. This effectively meant that the highest-stakes poker game in Florida was only a $5/10 NL game.
In 2007, poker rooms were allowed to carry No-Limit games with a maximum buy-in of $100. This was due to the state of Florida passing a new bill legalizing No-Limit poker. By doing this it raised the stakes to the largest ever in the state to $5/$10 No-Limit poker.
Unfortunately, the Florida Supreme Court declared the agreement between the Seminoles and the Governor to be invalid. This was due to the Seminoles disagreeing with the use of the buy-in law, in which they were pressured to abide by the same laws that most casinos in Florida had adopted.
The Governor had overstepped his authority, the court ruled, by not obtaining the State Legislature's approval of the Seminole agreement first. The Governor dutifully introduced the Florida SB 788 No-Limit Poker Gaming Bill to the legislature, where it recently passed.