Aug 20 2010

Florida Enjoys Increased Poker Revenue Following Rule Change

written by: Will under News Comments: Comments Off

For a long time since online poker was introduced, real money poker players from the state of Florida were forced to abide by one rule that prevented many players from entering into lucrative tournaments – no buy ins above $100.00. This, in effect, destroyed the chances of any professional poker player from entering a major tournament or even large prize package event. Of course, this rule also applied to cash games where the buy in exceeded $100.00. However, on July 1st of this year, Florida reversed the ruling and now allows players to play at any limits or buy ins that they like. One of the questions that many analysts have been having is what effect this lift would have on Florida poker revenue.

The numbers are in for Florida’s poker revenue and perhaps unsurprisingly, they show a large increase over previous months. For example, poker revenue in Florida expanded to $11.3 million during the month of July – in contrast to the June reporting of about $8.3 million. This increase between just these two months is an increase of about 35% – much more than many players and web sites were expecting. Some predictions are that, with all of the rules changes, revenues could show a large 60% to 70% increase by the end of the year.

The ban on real money poker games over $100.00 is not the only restriction that Florida has lifted to make poker rooms more accessible to residents. In fact, Florida has also lifted the rule that restricted the amount of hours that poker rooms could be open. Now, poker rooms can accept Florida players 18 hours per day during the week and 24 hours a day during the weekends. Before the rule change, players only had access to poker rooms 12 hours a day. This is likely more of a reason for revenue increases than the high limit lift – as more play time available corresponds to an increased amount of possible rake collected from players.

It is likely that the revenue increase is even more significant than actually reported. This is because the casinos with poker rooms owned and operated by the Seminole tribe of Florida have not been counted in the 35% increase statistic. The common rake percentage in most poker rooms throughout Florida is 10% up to a maximum of $5.00. However, this rake is not scheduled to change with higher buy in games. So, Florida residents may soon be at a decided advantage when compared to other casinos around the United States.

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