New Law Promises Big Growth for Florida Poker

by Lou on July 1, 2010

Florida recently expanded its gaming laws to incorporate a revenue-generating deal with the Seminole tribe. While the tribe obtains exclusive rights to run poker, blackjack and other games at seven Florida casinos, the Seminoles are not the only ones who figure to benefit from the new law. Other poker rooms are anticipating a poker boom too.

The change in environment for Florida poker players af of tomorrow, July 1, will be significant, since poker rooms may now increase the betting limits on their games and extend operating hours to 24 hours a day on weekends and 18 hours a day during the week.  Florida will also introduce no-limit cash poker for the first time.   In fact, cardrooms may offer fixed-limit, spread-limit, pot-limit and no-limit for any poker game, including mixed games. The age limit continues to be 18 for cardrooms, including the poker rooms at the Indian casinos.

This law change also means that big tournament entities, such as the World Series of Poker circuit events, the Heartland Poker Tour, and the World Poker Tour can include Florida as a major poker destination.  And because the games will be bigger, Florida figures to see an influx of pokeristas from Georgia, Alabama, and other southern states, as well as poker playing snowbirds looking to escape cold northern winters.

In Northeast Florida, Josh Zuckerman, Director of Poker Operations at Jacksonville Greyhound Racing—which offers poker at both the Orange Park Kennel club and St. Johns Greyhound Park—is understandably bullish on north Florida poker.  “We expect a new wave of former home game players who want to play bigger than they were able to before, plus out-of-state players wanting to check it out.  Because the cost of living is so much less in Jacksonville than south Florida, it’s a good place for poker players to visit, live, play, and for pros to ply their trade.  We’ve got two rooms located about 15 minutes apart, and with more than 70 total tables, and we are eagerly looking for tournaments and all the side games they bring.

“It’s all uncharted territory,” added Zuckerman, “but we’re eagerly anticipating being able to offer any and all games, at whatever stakes our customers want, while bringing in tourists and tournaments alike.  We expect a boom in poker as Florida becomes a major destination for games, tournaments, and players alike.”

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